If you watch Lockie Ferguson run to the wicket, gather himself and send a zinger towards the batsmen, you might briefly think of Shane Bond.

And if so, that's not a bad start for New Zealand's newest fast bowling hope, who will figure at some point in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series over the coming week.

Bond, arguably the second-best fast bowler New Zealand has had after Sir Richard Hadlee, had an impact on the young Ferguson. There are similarities in their actions.

"When I was younger, obviously Bondy was a big deal in New Zealand cricket," Ferguson said. "He bowled quick and was a superstar, so naturally I wanted to copy him."


Bond features on most lists of those who have bowled the quickest balls in international cricket. Ferguson has been told he was recorded at 155kmh and 153kmh in New Zealand XI games at Lincoln at the start of this season. The point is, even if it wasn't 155kmh, when you get to that speed what's a kilometre or two?

"When I started out, I was all about the pace. I just wanted to bump people out and blast out middle poles," he said. "But you learn pretty quickly in first-class cricket, you get carted and often don't get the wickets. In the last few years I've been lucky enough to stay on the park so I've learnt about my bowling."

Australia will be his biggest challenge by a distance so far in his career. He watched the matches under lights when New Zealand were in Australia when he was young. He's relishing the prospect of being part of it.

"It's going to be exciting and something new. I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Ferguson heaped praise on another former international, allrounder Andre Adams, for his encouragement.

"He was a big idol of mine growing up. The big load up and snapping over that front leg is something I've tried to develop further. Andre has been so helpful to me in the last three years in terms of what I want to work on. It's got to the point where I feel I've got a reasonable action and it seems to be producing reasonable results."

Ferguson has taken 18 Plunket Shield wickets in four games for Auckland this season. His cause has probably been helped by the ongoing injury issues of New Zealand's other current fastest bowler, Adam Milne.

Ferguson, who has two degrees in business, marketing and advertising, acknowledged butterflies will be jangling.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't get nervous but you have ways of dealing with nerves. It's all part of the fun."

And Ferguson has a simply philosophy about his bowling these days: "Try and make sure you bowl in good areas so the ball doesn't race to the boundary too quick, and try and get some poles (wickets). Just focus on doing the job in hand."

Back to the speed. Do you know when you've let one rip that's extra quick?

"For sure. I played a lot of golf as a youngster and it's a pretty similar feeling to when you know you've hit a good drive. Your body lines up and you almost don't have to look.

"This is similar. When the body loads up and you feel almost like you're floating, you snap over the top, and that feels good."

"I was all about the pace. I just wanted to bump people out and blast out middle poles."

Lockie Ferguson

First class record:

• 22 games, 77 wickets at 25.09

• 5 wickets x 5 inns

List A:
• 8 games, 16 wickets at 28.1