Fit again Trent Boult ready for a duel with Virat Kohli
Fit-again New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult will be taking no half-measures and is ready to challenge India captain Virat Kohli on returning to international cricket during the two-Test series beginning Friday.
Boult was out of action for the past six weeks due to a fracture in his right hand sustained during the Boxing Day Test against Australia.
Back for the traditional format, the left-arm quick made his priorities clear ahead of the first Test. “That’s personally why I play the game — to get guys like that (Kohli) out and test myself against them. So I can’t wait to get stuck in and get Virat out.
“But he’s an exceptional player. Everyone knows how great he is,” Boult said, sending out a warning after landing in New Zealand’s capital city for the opening Test.
New Zealand’s last Test series in Australia was a nightmare as they lost 0-3 and India would be a tough test for the Black Caps. “They are a great side and they are leading the ICC Test Championship.
“They are very clear on how they wanted to play the game. It was a tough learning curve in Australia. It’s good to see where we are in terms of bouncing back,” said Boult.
The Basin Reserve track will have a lot for the seamers and in conditions conducive to seam bowling, a wily customer like Boult will prove to be a handful for the visitors.
“I’m preparing for a solid wicket. It generally is very good here and goes the full distance (five days). I do enjoy playing here for the history that’s involved and it’s going to be an exciting week building up. I can’t wait to get out there,” said the 30-year-old who has taken 256 wickets in 65 Tests.
It was frustrating for Boult to watch his side get walloped 0-5 in the T20I series, but exhilarating too when the Black Caps got their mojo back in the subsequent one-dayers, which they won 3-0.
“I think it is what it is. I have just got to put the last six or so weeks behind me and just back myself to get out there and do my thing,” said Boult, who warmed up by playing a club game at the picturesque Taupo ground.
Boult did find a bit of humour in his injury, which for him was more of an accident. “If I had to break a hand, it would probably be my right one. Breaking a hand, you don’t really know how much you use it unless you break it,” said Boult.
“I was pushing in off the long run. I think a couple of the clubbies from Taupo really enjoyed that. It was a good afternoon,” added the pacer, who sent down eight overs in a friendly game for his club Cadets.
While bowling isn’t a problem, Boult hopes his catching doesn’t become an issue. “Everything has gone very well, but catching will be the biggest issue for me,” he said.
Professionally, Boult had to lie low due to injury, but it was also a good break as he and wife Lana welcomed their second child.