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
"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."