By Niall Anderson in Taunton

He didn't quite get the swing he was hoping for at The Oval, but Black Caps bowler Trent Boult is hoping that a noticeable change could see him repeat his Cricket World Cup heroics from 2015.

Boult was one of New Zealand's many standouts during their spectacular run to the final four years ago, taking 22 wickets at an average of 16.9, including a famous 5-27 in their victory over Australia in pool play.

He has still been a superb performer since that tournament, but has been taking wickets in a larger variety of ways, compared to the swing offensive that led to his success at the last World Cup.

Advertisement

"It hasn't swung like that in New Zealand ever since," said Boult, reflecting on the 2015 tournament after the Black Caps' two-wicket World Cup win over Bangladesh yesterday.

And, although he hasn't produced quite as much movement as he'd hoped early in the tournament, Boult has noticed a distinct difference with the official balls being used in the United Kingdom, which he's hoping can lead him to a second straight standout tournament on the world stage.

"The balls are actually different for this tournament. They've got a different gloss on them, they're painted differently, so there's definitely been a little bit more swing. The white balls have been quite prominent, you can see the quarter seams and everything with the ball, but it's fully covered now. It's nice to hold in the hand and it's moving a little bit, so I'm very happy.

"Conditions have been good but I believe there should be that little period at the start of the game where it's an even battle of bat versus ball, so it's nice to see the ball moving like it is at the moment."

Ideally, Boult would be able to swing the ball with impunity at both the start and end of the innings, saying he would prefer to have balls offer up some reverse swing in the death overs.

"I'd love to see [just] one ball in ODI cricket to be honest.

"I think any reverse swing at the end can really help any death bowler, the margin for error becomes slightly bigger and the hitting zone is a little bit smaller. I'm not sure where it's going to get to but the invention of slower balls and knuckle balls and two-bouncers and all that carry on has given a couple of cards up the sleeves."

Boult missed out on most of the wicket-taking fun in Cardiff against Sri Lanka, with a quiet outing by his standards seeing him claim 1-44. He was again solid without being spectacular against Bangladesh, going wicketless in his first spell but coming back to remove Mosaddek Hossain and Mehidy Hasan at the death, and finishing with 2-44.

Advertisement

But while he hasn't quite had the personal standout performances yet, Boult has been a key member of a bowling group which has started strongly, and it's hard not to get the feeling that Boult's star turn will come during this World Cup.

Whether it's Boult taking the lead, or one of his teammates, the memories of 2015 remain a major motivator regardless, for a side aiming for another deep run in the tournament.

"Early in the tournament it's nice to get on a little bit of a roll," said Boult.

"Hopefully we can replicate some of those scenes in 2019."