Cricket

Boult expects major challenge v Oz

2015-11-03 07:19
Trent Boult (AFP)

Brisbane - Fast bowler Trent Boult said on Tuesday that New Zealand's upcoming three-match Test series against Australia will be "the highlight of my career" and a measure of the team's improvement in test cricket over the past two years.

New Zealand is unbeaten in seven Test series since 2013, but Boult said the series against Australia, starting at Brisbane on Thursday, will be a far tougher challenge.

New Zealand has won a Test series in Australia only once, in 1985, and isn't counting on the Australians being more vulnerable after the recent retirements of players such as Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin.

"We've got a good blueprint on how we want to play the game," Boult said. "I couldn't think of a better opposition to test where we are at the moment."

Australia goes into the series as a team in transition, with a new captain in Steve Smith and batsmen Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh replacing Chris Rogers, Clarke and Watson.

"While it is nice not to have the Pontings and the Clarkes, we know the guys coming in are no mugs and know these conditions well," Boult said. "This is the highlight of my career to be honest. To get a three match series in Australia, it doesn't get any better."

Boult is one of six members of the New Zealand team who played in the last Test match against Australia at Hobart in 2011, which the Kiwis won by seven runs.

"Personally that was a massive game in my career - it was a great taste," Boult said. "The next step is a series win which I am sure would be even sweeter."

Boult was the leading wicket-taker in the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year and will form a formidable new ball partnership with Tim Southee on Brisbane's fast-bowler-friendly Gabba ground.

New Zealand lost to Australia in the World Cup final in Melbourne, but Boult said the team didn't feel a need to avenge that loss.

"In terms of motivation I don't think you have to look further than what lies ahead," he said. "We haven't beaten Australia in a series in 30 years - there's some motivation there."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  trent boult  |  cricket
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