New Zealand in South Africa 2012/13

Boult thrust into leading from the front

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 9, 2013

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Trent Boult took the final wicket to seal the win, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 5th day, November 29, 2012
Trent Boult, with just nine Tests experience, is suddenly leading the New Zealand attack © Associated Press

New Zealand may be at a particularly low ebb but their young bowling attack is the main cause of optimism for the future. To demonstrate their current predicament, the bowler leading their attack has just nine Tests under his belt.

Trent Boult is accustomed to the new ball, having opened the bowling in eight of his Tests, but now, with Tim Southee absent from the tour through injury, Boult has assumed the senior role, forging a new partnership with Doug Bracewell - his third opening partner.

The pair first shared the new ball at Kingston in August and, along with Southee and the remainder of Chris Martin's career, should provide a stable base for New Zealand to try and rebuild.

"I'm only nine or 10 Tests in but to be leading the attack is pretty special and something I feel quite good about," Boult said. "I've grown a lot and although it's only a handful of international fixtures I've made pretty big strides in developing as a bowler. I'm not looking too far ahead but I've got that job with the new ball which I love.

"I've opened the bowling a few times although Tim or whoever else has been there in the past. I don't feel any more pressure than normal or any more emphasis that I've got to be the man to do the job. We've got a good bowling unit that works well together and as a long as we do our jobs and back each other up we're going to continue to be pretty successful."

Boult has been successful in his fledgling Test career with 29 wickets at 28.79. He is part of a young attack who have proved they can deliver results. Victories over Australia in Hobart in November 2011 - Boult's debut - and Sri Lanka in Colombo 12 months on were significant feathers in the caps of Boult, 23, Bracewell, 22 and Southee, 24 - a young trio who Boult enjoys playing with.

"It's definitely a collective thing. We're lucky to be three pretty good mates and we played a lot of cricket together growing up. Tim's very good, he's injured but I'm still talking to him and bouncing ideas off him back in New Zealand. He's played a lot of cricket and I really respect the way he thinks. He's tactically a pretty smart cricketer.

"We work together. I don't think you can say 'this is how I do it, this is the best way'. It's selfish thinking you're going to do it on your own and I think it's pretty important that you work as a group."

Regrouping is essential for New Zealand after the embarrassment in Cape Town. New Zealand were fired out for their third-lowest Test total of 45, from which no amount of youthful exuberance could conjure a recovery. Worse still, South Africa's reply came at a healthy run rate of above four-an-over on the first afternoon.

"It's hard with that score we had on the board," Boult said. "Maybe a couple of guys were guilty of going out there searching a bit and trying to swing the game and get wickets quickly. I don't think that's the way to go.

"We need to stick to our plans and what we've been talking about, and that's being patient and trying to outlast our opponents. Although the intensity has been high at training, it's all about keeping it simple and not getting too far ahead of ourselves."

The swinging ball will again be a factor in the second Test but Boult expects conditions to be different in Port Elizabeth from Cape Town. "There's swing there with the new ball but I'm not sure how much it's going to hang around, like the conditions in Sri Lanka or India. It's a crucial part of it to swing that new ball and use it effectively as possible."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SameOld on (January 11, 2013, 0:35 GMT)

Yep, he's been a great find, alright. Still very young, but seems to have a level head and tries hard all day long. Lovely action, too.

It'll be interesting to see who opens the bowling with Boult: Wagner will steam in from ball one, and SA will want to get right on top of him early, so a loose shot or two could result. On the other hand, Bracewell seems to be developing that happy knack of picking an early wicket.

Of course, it's all academic unless the batsmen can last 4 or 5 sessions.

Posted by NostroGustro on (January 11, 2013, 0:02 GMT)

I watched Trent in his debut, in the Indian series and in the Sri Lankan series. His control of the swinging ball is fantastic. His dismissals of SRT were awesome. He just needs to learn the when and how of the straight one across the right hander to be world class.

Tim has learnt to master the variation and that tour of Sri Lanka was the making of him. These two together, along with a rejuvenated Bracewell, or Wagner, or McClenahan will get 20 opposition wickets with no troubles at all imo.

If only they had 400+ to bowl with every time....

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 10, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

I dont think we should NOT get too excited about any fast bowlers ripping through batting lineups because the Port Elizabeth pitch is like most Australian pitches - total ROAD. It wont be quick, might have some uneven bounce but thats about it.

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 10, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

@Mervo... Glad you couldn't reply to my question about Boult... Been watching cricket "live" for well over 50 years & have watched those players you troll on - guess by your comment you are another NSW supporter with sour grapes - have a look at the SS over the last few years & who with the most resources have done least... & unlike you, I support all Oz teams to some level though I do live in Qld & will prefer my home team to win, also I support & encourage all players & especially the younger brigade - including many overseas players...

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

@Chris Campling :- "@zenboomerang - jimmy anderson a 120k bowler"... You obviosly didn't read or understand my post... I said Hussey was a 120kph bowler - read it again - Huss is a medium pacer... I said the other bowlers were generally around Boults pace - they bowl high 120's to low 140's - but generally in the middle of that... Try re-reading comms before posting as I'm very used to misguided comms, so try again...

Posted by Neuen on (January 10, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

Still don't see them taking 22 wickets vs SA. Quicks can't bowl long spells. 2 Quicks is not going to do anything when there is nothing to back it up.

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (January 10, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

@Chris: read zenboomerang's post again. He compares Boult's speed to Anderson, Bird, and Philander. Not how good he is. Nor did he say Anderson is a 120 km bowler - he said Hussey is. Your point that it is what you do with the ball rather than the speed seems to be the same point he is making. Of course he is no Philander, but who is? Average under 30 despite mostly playing away is not bad for a young Kiwi bowler, and most would agree he has been unlucky in many spells. Good luck to him.

Posted by Mervo on (January 10, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

Zenboomerang you should watch more cricket and read fewer stats. There are an awful lots of trundlers in test cricket these days. ODI data has little resemblance to data from test cricket. Watching old footage of Aktar and Lee hitting 158 is inspiring and one wonders where such young bowlers are these days. NZ is doing the very best with the resources they have and one has to support your national team However guys like mcKay and Hastings have no place in test cricket. Their only virtue is to come from Victoria.

Posted by mikriket on (January 10, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

Here we go again, getting enthralled by another young and talented player who in any other team would get his debut in another year or two and not as the "opener". As I said prior to this tour, it should never have taken place. So far its been a total embarrisment to NZ cricket !!

Posted by   on (January 10, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

@zenboomerang - jimmy anderson a 120k bowler? there are a few test opening batsmen who would dispute that. anyway, it doesn't matter - away from the pure speed men - how fast you bowl, but what you do with the ball. and trent boult is no vernon philander

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 10, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

@Mervo... Boult medium pace?... lol... Hussey bowls medium pace = 120kph... Anderson, Bird, Philander are around about Boults pace - a few handy bowlers...

Hastings FC bowling ave @25... While McKay FC ave @27 - his ODI ave @22, Econ @ 4.7, SR @ 28.6 - You wouldn't know current Oz ODI bowlers with better bowling stats, would you?... You can leave out - MJ, Cummins, Pattinson, Hilfy, Watto who have poorer records, while Sidds doesn't make the grade... Only Starc & Ryano cut muster to McKays figures... You just embarrass yourself with your wacky comms...

Posted by SamRoy on (January 10, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

I like all 3 (Boult, Bracewell and Southee). I think Boult is the hardest trier and ability wise Bracewell is the most talented and Southee is the most intelligent of the 3. Anyway, Boult is my favourite out of the 3 (also the unluckiest one).

Posted by Lermy on (January 10, 2013, 0:53 GMT)

Whenever I've seen Boult bowl, he's bowled better than any of the NZ bowlers but without luck. He's usually a better bowler than Southee. Pity hes not teaming up with McClenahan, that might be an attack with some impact. Bracewell needs to bend his back and get to 140k plus when he looks far more dangerous. This 130k line and length stuff is absolute rubbish!

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 9, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

The pace bowling lineup for NZ is quite good. They are just being let down by their batting.

Posted by Maccanui on (January 9, 2013, 23:29 GMT)

He's no Gavin Larsen, who has also opened the bowling, but I suppose he'll do.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 9, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

Not sure I'm a fan of these other bowlers taking the limelight away from the Phantom.

Posted by Dashgar on (January 9, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

I really rate Boult. He's tall, gets movement and is quick enough to be a real handful. Personally I'd have him ahead of Southee who is still inconsistent.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (January 9, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

Seen a little bit of him and he looks a decent proposition with heart and no small measure of talent.

It's all academic if Trent's chums higher up the order don't show some bottle and stick around and get some runs. In both innings'.

Posted by GreedyFly on (January 9, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

I don't think Mervo even watches Boult.

Anyone that has is educated enough to know he has the goods.

Posted by kc69 on (January 9, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

Well..Thats really good news..Young blood given responsiblity is good for NZ Cricket.

Posted by OzWally on (January 9, 2013, 22:02 GMT)

Obviously a slow news day?

Posted by sasi on (January 9, 2013, 21:37 GMT)

@ Mervo Hasting's selection reminds me of a similar selection Darren Pattinson

Posted by cheesemethod on (January 9, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

Mervo. NZ just don't produce durable fast bowlers which goes back to the factors of money, population, weather, broadcasting rights. Theres barely enough money for the international players let alone grass roots development systems. Australias recent hobart test brought in only 6,000 people on the first day which is apparently a crying shame. If NZ sold tickets at even quarter of the price and got that crowd in, it would be a roaring success. My point being that money flows down the system to help unearth new talent. The talent is out there in NZ, its just a case of tapping into it, a much harder job that the other developed cricket nations. Win lose or draw i'll always watch the blackcaps and stand behind them, a true underdog nation who show a lot of fight.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

Errrr Mervo you've seen him bowl consistently at 140km's right? and when he's really getting into his work gets it up over 140km's. Sure for his first over or two he usually bowls around low 130km's as that's to warm up but this guy is seriously talented and will play for NZ for a long long time if him & Southee can stay on the park together they'll be a great opening attack for NZ and with Wagner as third seamer we can have a decent bowling attack for many years.

Posted by TrickyKid on (January 9, 2013, 20:46 GMT)

Boult seems to have the prefect demeanor for a bowler from articles I have read. His maturity at a young age has meant he has slipped into the team very naturally. I like his controlled aggression.

Posted by Mervo on (January 9, 2013, 20:25 GMT)

Poor Trent. He has little experience and is barely medium pace and he is asked to do this. Really he has no show. I could never understand why our selectors chose medium pacer hastings as our opening Test bowler against SA. That has to be the bad decision of a decade. However, Australia seems to have bowlers to burn at the moment, so take Hastings or Clint McKay please.

Posted by Logan_Tate on (January 9, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

Jay, Chaminda Vaas is not the NZ bowling coach - that is Shane Bond. As far as I know, Vaas was just brought on as an aide while NZ were touring Sri Lanka. In saying that, Bond is one of the best quick bowlers we have ever produced, and could be a great mentor to this young attack. Tim Southee in particular flourished under Alan Donald, and seems to really respond to having a quality bowling coach.

Posted by Gagg on (January 9, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

Jay.Raj their bowling coach is Shane Bond, Vaas as far as I know was just their advisor on their tour of Sri Lanka.

Posted by SladeR on (January 9, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

Umm, big fat deal. Just a quick look at the stats of some of NZs former pace bowlers reveals that, Richard Hadlee, Chris Cairns, Danny Morrison, Brendon Bracewell, Richard Collinge, Heath Davis, Dion Nash and if I could be bothered looking, probably many more have all opened the bowling, lead from the front, on debut.

I am mystified as to why Boult opening the bowling after 9 tests is a big deal in any way.

Posted by Jay.Raj on (January 9, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

Newzealand has got an excellent bowling coach who is Chaminda Vaas. They can learn a lot from him of swing and seam bowling. It is a great oppurtunity for young newzealand fast bowlers to learn the art from a proper coach. Please dont miss it. Hardwork will always pay off. Work harder and harder and anyone can become the hero.

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