Trent Boult repays McCullum's faith big time
Trent Boult has had a happy knack of making things happen for New Zealand's cricket team. It's just his bowling figures haven't always told the story.
His first two tests, in Hobart and Napier, resulted in New Zealand victories, and he also played a big role in their win in Colombo last November as Tim Southee's able deputy. But the 23-year-old's haul of 4-42 against Sri Lanka was his best effort from 12 previous tests.
So when the bustling left-armer stood at the top of his mark at Eden Park yesterday, sun shining, ball finally swinging and the big scalps of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott already to his name, it was time to really make it count.
Having been thrown the new ball by captain Brendon McCullum on Saturday ahead of senior partner Southee provided the early spark.
"Baz [McCullum] just threw me it and said do what I do and it got me in the zone and everything went from there," said Boult.
His 6-68 off 25 overs was the eighth-best haul by a New Zealand test bowler against England and set up a royal chance for a series victory.
"I don't know. That's just cricket, isn't it. I have had days where I have picked up the rewards, days I have bowled really well and not picked up anything. To get the six wickets was definitely pretty cool and hopefully the start of something more to come," he said.
Boult charged in on docile pitches in Dunedin and Wellington, the ball barely swinging and the New Zealand bowlers running themselves into the ground. With the luxury of a week's rest since their first innings slog at the Basin Reserve, Boult was fresh and Eden Park offered perfect swing bowling conditions.
"There is a little bit of swing out there which is pretty nice. Obviously you can't have the luxury of feeling great every day, but yeah, it felt pretty good.
"You can present the seam as well as you want but if the conditions aren't there to suit, it's not going to swing and I think Dunedin was a pretty hard place to swing the ball. Wellington traditionally it swings, but it didn't. Coming out here we knew that it was going to swing and we put the ball in the right areas for long enough and picked up the rewards."
The Dominion Post