Rested Boult ready for busy season
New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult has said he is fit and refreshed for the upcoming season after being diagnosed with a stress injury of the back during the tour of England. Having missed the last three ODIs in England in June, Boult was subsequently rested for New Zealand's tour of Africa.
"I can't remember the last time that I had three months off from cricket, it has been nice to get away from the game and get my body right," Boult told the Blackcaps website. "I am chomping at the bit to get back into it. The best part of being home was enjoying some golf and getting out for the occasional fishing day.
New Zealand's next international assignment is a three-Test tour of Australia, the last of which will be the first day-night Test in Adelaide. "It is exciting, and it's going to be great to be part of history," Boult said. "There are a lot of people already talking about it and the interest is only going to grow as we get closer to Adelaide."
The inaugural day-night Test, scheduled to begin from November 27, will be played with a pink Kookaburra ball and Boult believes preparation will be the key aspect. "I have had two sessions with the pink ball, and it feels like a hockey ball or an indoor cricket ball coming out of the hand. I was able to get it to swing a bit, but I haven't bowled with it at night yet."
New Zealand will play one warm-up match in Hamilton and two in Australia to get used to the pink ball. "Those games are crucial for our preparation as we see how the pink ball reacts in different conditions and we get used to bowling, batting and fielding with it," Boult said. "We need to embrace it, and be as prepared as we can be."
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said the characteristics of the pink ball were in between the red and white balls. "The ball is very much in between a white one and red one. A white ball does not last more than 30 overs really, in terms of keeping its colour, and it gets really soft," Hesson told Otago Daily Times. "They (Kookaburra) have apparently worked pretty hard to make sure the pink ball does not do the same.
"There has been talk of the ball getting really soft. It certainly does not buff up as well as the red ball."
Lindsay Crocker, New Zealand's head of cricket, said the day-night Test could be a possible cash cow depending on its success in Adelaide. "There's a whole range of things we need to look at. I don't think the idea of a day-night Test (in New Zealand) has ever been a dead duck.
"It will be an interesting exercise to see if there is any difference with the pink ball," Crocker said. "If the Adelaide match is successful, then potentially who knows? It may be something we try down the track. If it's successful, why wouldn't we look at it as a potential option?
"But it's wrong to say we've got a match earmarked for a future day-night Test. We're just trying to bring everything together to see whether it's possible for us as well."