Cricket: Swing will keep India on their toes - Boult

By David Leggat

Here's a surprise; Trent Boult is backing swing as the way for New Zealand's fast-medium bowlers to make life awkward for India's highly-rated batting attack.

The Northern Districts swingman is among the best in the game at getting the ball to bend through the air at decent pace, as he has demonstrated frequently during his 20-test career.

His 10-wicket demolition of the West Indies in Wellington last December was his finest test, but he's previously shown if there's a bit in the atmosphere, the lively left armer can make the ball talk.

And Boult is wary of all the chatter about peppering the Indian batsmen with heavy doses of short-pitched bowling to try to take advantage of some wonky horizontal strokeplay seen during the ODI series.

Rather, he advocates being smart about it.

"If the ball is moving you can look to exploit any defensive [weaknesses] they've got," he said yesterday. "That's what's going to be important. If we can get the ball moving I think we can hopefully enjoy some success.

"You can't afford to just bowl bouncers and half volleys and all that sort of carry on."

Boult, now fully fit after a quad muscle tear, is expected to form a three-strong seam attack with Tim Southee and fellow leftie Neil Wagner.

Boult favours utilising the short ball at the right time, off a sound platform of line and length as a tactic to throw into the mix.

"If we can mix it up with being on them with good pressure on a good line and length, and a good bouncer every two or three overs, you're going to keep them off their game and we can look for the error."

Boult's consistency since his debut in New Zealand's thrilling seven-run win over Australia in Hobart in late 2011 has made him an essential part of the bowling attack.

In his only previous test at Eden Park he snared six for 68 against England last season.

Boult's new ball combination with his Northern Districts teammate and good chum Southee is showing strong signs of becoming among the better fast-medium combinations in the game.

Southee became the 12th New Zealander to reach 100 test wickets in the last test, against the West Indies in Hamilton.

"We think it's a good mix. We're good friends so we enjoy bowling together. A lot of pressure is built from both ends when we're on song."

And as for that No 10 world ranking, don't imagine him as a close scrutiniser of rankings.

"Not really to be honest. I can't say I sit in the hotel room before a game and say 'okay, I want to get to No 9 this time', or whatever.

"To get to the top 10 is great but if I do my job and take wickets first of all the team's going to do well and I'll be rewarded with that kind of individual success."

Watching Boult and India's veteran left armer Zaheer Khan, expected to play his 91st test and sitting on 302 wickets, will provide an interesting side issue, the old warrior and the fast-riser.

- NZ Herald

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