Trent Boult talks about his first World Cup - including the thrillers against England and Australia

I was just grateful to be named in the 15-man squad for the World Cup. I wasn't really expecting to be in the starting line-up when the first match came around. I think I'd played about a dozen ODIs at that stage.

Even long before the tournament began, I think we all knew Brendon McCullum's captaincy was going to be a big influence. If there was a motto or mantra that would ring in your head during that World Cup, it was: "If in doubt, be aggressive." We found that if we backed down and took the defensive shot or the defensive option, things wouldn't unfold as we wanted. That was Brendon's goal and that rubbed off on us. It definitely did on me.

I was just trying to be aggressive. I was trying to pitch the ball up and make the most of the conditions. I can vividly remember looking at some of the fields that Brendon set throughout that campaign. Bowling to a Test-match field - with four or five slips - it was great feeling to run in with a field like that.

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They were games that were broadcast all over the world. Being able to set the tone for New Zealand with the crowds that we had, on the big stage, was a great experience.

There were a couple of times when I bowled ten overs straight at the top of the innings, which I haven't done since either.

The England game was one of those days when things just seemed to keep happening. Tim Southee was letting the ball go really well. I remember Brendon smoked it with the bat as well, and it was done in a few overs.

It was exciting. It was about going out there and remembering why we played the game as kids and what we played it for. We tried to make things happen rather than sit back and let the game unfold. We tried not to take the defensive option.

Then, in our first game against Australia, at Eden Park, I remember there were 44,000 people there, and I had never seen anything like it before. It's is a small ground - one of those where you feel like the whole crowd is right on top of you. To hear that noise go up when wickets were falling was pretty intimidating and pretty inspiring at the same time. It was cool to have that in our backyard. I remember coming back for my second spell and getting a couple of wickets, and not being able to hear anything. Bizarre!

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It was one of my favourite games, but later, it was easily the most nervous I've been when I had to go out and face a couple of balls. We had got to 100 odd for 4 with only about 50 more required, and I was having quite a big lunch, not expecting to be needed. Mitchell Starc got a few quick wickets there and I remember walking out with two balls to go in the over. The task was pretty simple. If I could get through that and give Kane Williamson the strike at the other end, he could put one out of the ground. We were lucky enough to do that.

The fans ride the ups and downs, like the players do. A lot of public interest evolved from that World Cup campaign. The style of cricket, the sportsmanship, and the fearlessness was something that a lot of people around the world admired. That's what it's about, in my opinion: growing the game and inspiring young kids, the way the likes of Wasim Akram and Dale Steyn had done to me. It inspires you more to see that reaction from the crowd.

To fall short in the final was one of the most heartbreaking things in my career. It was disappointing not to have a higher score on the board, but that was the bed we made. But it was a World Cup final and we were still going to give it our all. How many times might you get the chance to do something like that?

I got a wicket early, and we thought: "Why not?" But there was some good batting by the Aussies and they timed the chase nicely. In terms of the experience, though, to get to Melbourne and get in front of 94,000 people was pretty amazing. Definitely something I'm pretty proud to have ticked off the bucket list.

Boult spoke to Andrew Fidel Fernando, ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf