Left-arm pacer Trent Boult has joined the New Zealand squad ahead of the World Test Championship final against India, the Black Caps’ reported on social media. Boult also began his first training session of the tour at Lord’s Nursery Ground.
The 31-year-old had asked for a break from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to be with his family after spending months in the IPL 2021 bio-bubble. Later, Black Caps coach Gary Stead confirmed that Trent Boult will miss out on both Tests against England to stay fresh for the summit clash.
Trent Boult is the lynchpin of New Zealand’s Test bowling attack. The 13th ranked bowler in the ICC Test has picked up 281 wickets from 71 matches at a career average of 28.02 and a strike rate of 56.3. The numbers get even better in English conditions – 21 snares from 4 games at 23.14 and 52.
Even without Trent Boult, New Zealand on top at Lord’s
New Zealand are currently playing the first Test against Joe Root’s team at Lord’s. The visitors amassed 378 runs in the first innings on the back of Devon Conway’s spectacular double-hundred on debut. In response, most of England’s batting lineup fell for 140 runs after 56.1 overs.
After Day 3 got washed out, the match seemed headed for a draw. However, Tim Southee’s magnificent spell on Saturday, which included wickets of Ollie Pope (22), Dan Lawrence (0) and James Bracey (0), turned the game back into New Zealand’s favor.
Credit also goes to Kyle Jamieson, who broke the crucial 93-run stand between Joe Root and Rory Burns by drawing the former’s outside edge to first slip to get his team going.
The Kiwi pacers’ outing sans Trent Boult is an ominous sign for India. If the conditions favor swing and seam at Southampton, the quadrant of Boult, Southee, Jamieson and Neil Wagner will pose a redoubtable challenge to Virat Kohli’s boys.