Veteran New Zealand pacer Trent Boult admitted that the tourists are disappointed at losing the Test series to England suffered two consecutive defeats in the three-match series, but backed the BlackCaps to come good in the third and final Test to be played Headingley from June 23.
As reported by ESPNCricinfo, Boult said ahead of the final Test: “I suppose it is hard being 2-0 down in the series. But there is a lot of pride in that changing room from some of the performances we have put out over the last few years. If we are fair we probably have not been at the standards we want to be as a group, it is nice to have one game to go out and play like we know we can.”
The pacer continued, “He has pumped me a couple of times, actually, Jonny Bairstow (136 runs off 92 balls). The way he played on that final day was very special. He really took the game by the horns and did not let go. He is definitely a big player for them in the middle order and we know how destructive he is, he's done it many a time.
To be on the wrong side of that result was pretty tough, but I think a lot of credit is due to some phenomenal cricket that has been played there. Nothing too much changes for us [at Headingley] but hopefully we get into him nice and early with the ball a bit new, and we will see what happens.”
Hailing England, Boult said: “They are playing like I thought he told them to. It is a new change for English cricket. What a start, both games so far have been thrillers really. For Test cricket as a whole, hopefully, we see many more games like that, and get many more eyes watching.”
The veteran pacer also felt the absence of their star cricketers like Kane Williamson, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway (all COVID-19 positive), Kyle Jamieson (lower back injury), and Colin de Grandhomme (heel injury) played a role in New Zealand’s defeat in the second Test.
Speaking about them, Boult said: “It is hard for Kyle, I know he is disappointed with walking off with an injury, every fast bowler is in that situation. He has played some great cricket over the last couple of years. You look at some of the guys on the sideline, everyone wants to put their hand up and go out and perform for the side. There is a guy called Neil Wagner who is keen to get out there as well, I am not sure if he will walk straight back in, but I know the XI who are selected will go out there and be desperate to do well. He is a big player for us. His record speaks for itself, everyone is healthy and available for selection. It looks like another good wicket, so we will see what happens.
[Kane]'s always hungry to get in the nets. He was disappointed to have to sit out the last game. It was a big game for us. He is hungry to get out there to lead the side and desperate to get some runs. I know the boys are looking forward to the challenge. There have been some good chats going on off the ground. Hopefully, we can let the bat do the talking and we will go from there.”
Boult arrived in England just 48 hours before the first Test, so he had a limited time to prepare and acclimatize to the conditions, but he was still impressed by taking 3 wickets in the first innings at Lord’s.
He further said of his practice: “I flew through Dubai, then came to here... and then just really cracked on with it really! The Dukes ball is always exciting to get in your hand and it is nice to see the ball move around a little bit. It is one of those things, a lot of the guys in that group have a lot of passion to put the Black Cap on their head and the motivation for everyone is there to go out and perform.
So it was an easy choice for me. I enjoy the conditioning side of things and the stuff that goes in off the field. It is a big challenge. Test cricket is called Test cricket for a reason and it is the format I am definitely the most passionate about. So when there is an opportunity to put the Black Cap on and the whites, I try to grab it with both hands.
He concluded, “It has been a busy couple of months for me coming from the IPL. It is a challenge as a modern-day fast bowler to move between the formats but I love the challenge, I love the opportunity to run in for my country and the group of guys in there as well. It was nice to get away and refresh a little bit and the guys are energized and really looking forward to the next couple of the days.”
(With ANI Inputs)