New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult acknowledged that while he was helped by the swing on offer during their warm-up match against India, the performance still gives him, and the side, much-needed confidence heading into the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.
Boult showed once again on Saturday, 25 May, why he is such a potent weapon when conditions are swinging, nipping out four Indian wickets to help pack them off for 179. He got the new ball to move around prodigiously from accurate lengths to leave the Indian top-order in tatters, dismissing Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. Later, he wrapped up the innings with a bouncer to Kuldeep Yadav, leaving New Zealand to chase the total down with minimal fuss.
"Nice to see it swinging around a little bit," Boult said. "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.
"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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Batsmen have dominated one-day internationals in England in recent years, routinely notching up big scores. There is a belief that this World Cup could be batsman-friendly, but like New Zealand showed on Saturday, bowlers can rewrite the script if they get early wickets.
"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 knows a thing or two about dictating terms to the batsmen – he was, after all, the joint leading wicket-taker in the 2015 edition of the World Cup, with 22 wickets from nine matches. Boult acknowledged that conditions have become more challenging since then, but 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."
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