Boult blow for Ki­wis

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WELLING­TON: New Zealand bowl­ing spear­head Trent Boult has been ruled out of the sec­ond Test start­ing to­day, lift­ing South Africa’s chances of go­ing one up in the se­ries.

Boult pulled up lame dur­ing South Africa’s sec­ond in­nings in the drawn first Test in Dunedin to be the sec­ond se­nior player to be side­lined af­ter Ross Tay­lor suf­fered a calf tear.

Nei­ther side had fi­nalised their line up yes­ter­day for what should be a seam-friendly Basin Re­serve wicket, but South African cap­tain Faf du Plessis said the ab­sence of Boult and Tay­lor would hurt New Zealand.

“If you lose two key play­ers like that you def­i­nitely feel you’re a lit­tle bit light,” he said.

“For a new (bats­man) com­ing in it’s im­por­tant for us to put pres­sure on him and not make him feel com­fort­able. From a bowl­ing per­spec­tive Boult is a huge loss.”

With the first Test drawn, Welling­ton is ef­fec­tively the start of a two-Test se­ries which du Plessis said height­ened the need to get a re­sult.

“When it comes to a two-match se­ries you have to be a lit­tle bit more street smart be­cause it can go both ways,” he said.

“You go 1-0 down in the se­ries there’s no com­ing back from that so it’s get­ting your­self in a po­si­tion where you can try and make sure you win.”

Although the teams have not been an­nounced, Boult’s long­time new-ball part­ner Tim Southee, who was dropped for the Dunedin Test, con­firmed he was back in the side.

“I’ll come in for Boulty, a straight swap for Trent who will un­for­tu­nately miss this one,” Southee said, adding the bal­ance of the side was still be­ing de­bated despite the green wicket.

“There’s a cou­ple of ques­tion marks round a cou­ple of play­ers but I can con­firm I come in for Trent and Neil Broom comes in for Rosco (Tay­lor). But they’ll fi­nalise the side tomorrow.”

It will be Broom’s Test de­but but he has played 30 one-day­ers in­clud­ing three in the re­cent se­ries against South Africa where he had scores of two, two and a duck.

Seven Test seamer Matt Henry is the fron­trun­ner to re­place Boult and if the wicket dic­tates one spin­ner, New Zealand may over­look Mitchell Sant­ner in favour of Jee­tan Pa­tel who bore the brunt of the work­load in Dunedin.

Also in Pa­tel’s favour was hav­ing claimed Quin­ton de Kock’s wicket in his past four in­nings, although du Plessis said his mid­dle-or­der bats­man did not con­sider him­self Pa­tel’s bunny.

“Quin­ton doesn’t over-an­a­lyse things too much. He re­lies on instinct so yes, Jee­tan has got the best of him this se­ries but Quin­ton will al­ways find a way.”

South Africa were also weigh­ing up whether to change their line-up with du Plessis say­ing the play­ing XI would be de­cided by the state of the pitch to­day morn­ing.

“I don’t ex­pect too many changes. We’re look­ing at pos­si­bly, maybe, one but highly un­likely,” he said. AFP

AP PIC

New Zealand’s Trent Boult re­acts af­ter a catch was dropped off his bowl­ing on day four of the first Test against South Africa at Univer­sity Oval, Dunedin, New Zealand on Satur­day.

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