Trent Boult ready for Australia
Trent Boult has said playing in the first two rounds of the Plunket Shield has helped his preparation ahead of New Zealand's two-Test series in Australia in December. Boult, a 22-year-old left-arm quick, was the new face in New Zealand's 13-man Test squad that was announced on November 16.
"[I was] pretty disappointed that I didn't get selected in that squad [that played a one-off Test in Zimbabwe earlier this month]," Boult told APNZ. "But looking back it's been a good opportunity to get a bit more game-time and get my season underway with Northern Districts and obviously [I've] enjoyed a little bit of success there in those first couple of Plunket Shield rounds."
Boult picked up a career-best match haul of 8 for 74 against Auckland in the opening round, and then claimed three wickets in Northern Districts' win over Wellington.
This is not the first time he has been named in the national squad. Following a strong showing at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, he made it to the squad for the Chappell-Hadlee series in 2009 but did not get into the playing XI. A stress fracture of the back then put him out of cricket. He returned to the domestic circuit last year and finished third on the Plunket Shield's wicket-takers' table, with 32 scalps at 25.34. In July of this year, he was awarded a central contract by New Zealand Cricket.
"I took a lot of confidence out of completing a full first-class season with Northern Districts last year," Boult said. "The back's fine. I've come out of that.
"I was pretty young, pretty naive three years ago [when he was first picked for New Zealand]. Obviously playing cricket, and just getting that opportunity to play pretty decent cricket here in New Zealand and learn from that [has helped develop my game]."
Grant Bradburn, who coaches Boult at Northern Districts, said Boult is ready for international cricket. "He'll keep bustling in," Bradburn said. "He's very fit. He's very strong now and just grown a lot over the last couple of years; just filled out and grown a lot in terms of physical size.
"He's quick. He swings the ball. And the understanding of his own processes and his own bowling ... He's extremely professional and leads our [Northern Districts] guys in terms of that professionalism of just knowing how to look after himself and keeping himself in good tune."