WATCHFUL EYE: Shane Bond during his time as New Zealand bowling coach.
WATCHFUL EYE: Shane Bond during his time as New Zealand bowling coach. Martin Huntergetty Images

Bond urges calm as Heat opens Big Bash account

 If the Brisbane Heat makes yet another slow start to this summer's Big Bash League, bowling coach Shane Bond certainly won't be panicking.

He helped guide the Mumbai Indians to the Indian Premier League title last season, alongside head coach and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, after the team started the tournament with a 1-5 record.

The Heat, which opens its campaign against the Melbourne Renegades at the Gabba tonight, has been notoriously slow to start in the Twenty20 competition in previous years, but Bond said he and head coach Daniel Vettori would bring a sense of calm to the Queensland franchise.

"I think we were 1-5 at one point and it felt like we (the Mumbai coaching staff) were going to get sacked," Bond told APN.

"But Ricky's message was pretty strong at the start - we had the team to win the tournament.

"That message for our team, and the consistency with what we did, never changed.

"As a coach you've got to keep a pretty even keel, and it felt like we did that as a coaching group."

Bond - a fearsome pace bowler who took 87 Test wickets at an average of 22.09, but only played 18 Tests due to injuries - said he also learned a lot from former Australian coach John Buchanan, who was New Zealand's director of cricket when Bond was the bowling coach.

That stint ended earlier this year after the Black Caps reached the final of the World Cup.

"He (Buchanan) coached great players and found out how to get the best out of them, and how to challenge a team that was so good," Bond said.

The Heat coaching staff will need to get the best out of their players tonight, against a strong Renegades batting line-up which includes Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Matthew Wade and Cameron White.

"We're going to have to be on our game, but we hope we can use the Gabba as a hometown advantage - it probably hasn't been in the past," Bond said.

"We'll look to exploit our home conditions with a bit of pace and bounce."

And the man who could take advantage of those conditions could be Heat recruit, and fellow paceman and policeman, Luke Feldman.

"He swings the ball in and out, and he's got some real skill," Bond said.

"The boys have been giving me a bit of stick because he's a cop, and I was a cop, so there's mutual man-love going on there.

"At a ground like the Gabba where the ball swings, I've got no doubt he'll go great guns."



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