Wellington: Former New Zealand coach David Trist has said Kiwi fast bowler Chris Martin has hit peak form at the age of 37, 11 years of making his Test debut for the Black Caps against the Proteas in Bloemfontein.
Martin removed South African opening batsman Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers (with 25,000 test runs between them) in the space of four deliveries during the first innings of the first Test match in Napier.
Trist recalls the difference between when Martin made his Test debut and now. A shell-shocked fast bowler is sitting on the floor in the shower area of the dressing room, smoking a cigarette and had taken 3-89 off 22.1 overs in his first innings, claiming Gary Kirsten as his first Test wicket.
Trist asked him how he thought he had performed and Martin’s reply was: “I don``t know, what do you think?” He told Martin that Allan Donald bothered the New Zealand batsmen with bouncers, and asked him how many bouncers did he bowl, the reply was a blank look. It became the first lesson for Martin, and in the next innings, he claimed Jacques Kallis leg before wicket for 13, which was the first of six times he’s dismissed one of the great batsmen in Test cricket.
The skinny laid-back political science student at Canterbury University might have been 26 when he made his Test debut for the Kiwi’s, but international cricket was a mystery to him. Now, after 11 years, the late bloomer is the bowling guru with a harder edge and is leading the Kiwi fast bowling department with utmost precision.
Trist believes Martin’s current form in which he has taken 41 wickets at an average of 23.97 in his last 10 Test matches, including the first innings against the Proteas is credited to his mental and physical game forming the perfect storm.