Trent Boult starred with the ball as New Zealand thrashed India in an ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 warm-up match at The Oval on Saturday.
The left-arm seamer exploited overcast conditions and a pitch with plenty of grass cover to finish with four for 33 as India were bowled out for a paltry 179 in 39.2 overs.
Ross Taylor (71) and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (67) both spent useful time in the middle as the Black Caps won with almost 13 overs to spare.
“Nice to see it swinging around a little bit,” Boult told anchor Ridhima Pathak after the game. “I’d love to expect that everywhere, some good wickets around the country. It’s going to be a good challenge, but us as a bowling unit, we’re definitely looking forward to it, but we’ll take some confidence out of today (Saturday).
“But yeah, the biggest challenge will be when it’s not swinging and not nipping around a little bit. Then how do we take wickets? So we’ll look at that.”
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With batsmen dominating ODIs in England in recent years, this World Cup could see imposing totals being posted on a regular basis. “We know what early wickets does to the batting side,” Boult said.
“We want to be as aggressive as we can to try and get into any team’s batting order, so we know if we get two or three wickets at the top of the order, it puts a lot of pressure on the opposition. That is the basic plan, and for me, it’s about pitching the ball up and swinging the ball around as much as it can.”
Boult was the joint leading wicket-taker in the 2015 edition of the World Cup, with 22 scalps from nine matches. The conditions have become more challenging since then, but he isn’t intimidated by predictions of 500-plus scores.
“The ball hasn’t really swung around as much since then, but I don’t know if I’m going to make any drastic calls like someone’s going to make 500,” he said.
“But we’ll face it if it happens.”