I look up to Zaheer: Boult
Hyderabad, Aug 24: New Zealand pacer Trent Boult introduced himself to the cricket-loving public of India by knocking off Sachin Tendulkar’s middle stump with an in-swinger in the first Innings of the ongoing Hyderabad Test. He finished the innings with three wickets, including that of the man he looks up to as a role-model – Zaheer Khan.
A left-arm swing bowler like Zaheer, 23-year-old Boult wants to make the most of his trip to India by learning a thing or two about the art of bowling on tough Indian tracks from the man who has mastered it.
In an exclusive chat with bcci.tv after the end of play on Day 2, Boult spoke about getting Tendulkar’s wicket and gaining the valuable experience of playing Test cricket in India.
You have been in India before with the New Zealand A team. But how different is it this time to be part of the Test team?
Yes, I came here in late-2008 and I made my first-class debut here. But I was quite young then. This is my first Test in India and something very exciting. I really enjoyed the first time I came here and it’s the same at the moment.
How differently do you have to bowl in India as compared to home?
The conditions are obviously a lot different than back home in New Zealand but still the same things apply – you have to be consistent, hit good areas. Maybe the length changes a bit. But the line and what I try to do as a swing bowler remains the same.
Is the heat too much of a factor?
Yes, definitely. The temperature back home in New Zealand is about five degrees. When you come out here, the 40 degrees is a shock to the system. We came here a week earlier to acclimatize but it still feels very teasing.
When you get a batsman of Sachin Tendulkar’s stature out like you did – you knocked off his middle stump – what does it do to your confidence?
It was a huge honour to get him. There was a bit of wind and it assisted me in getting the in-swing. The ball crashed into the middle stump. It’s something that I’ll always remember.
Your idol is Wasim Akram. Was it he who inspired you to take up swing bowling?
Not really. I have an older brother with whom I played cricket at home and I think that’s where I kind of grew from. But I just always enjoyed watching Wasim; he’s a prolific swing bowler. I tried to mimic him as much as I possibly could.
Have you got a chance to speak to him or meet him?
No, never. He was at the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. which I played. But he was a commentator and I didn’t get the chance to meet him.
You’re playing against Zaheer Khan, who is a similar kind of bowler – left-armer, swings the ball. Would you like to pick his brain on something?
Yes, Zaheer is also someone I’ve looked up to. He’s definitely someone who knows what he’s doing and is a very smart bowler. He has an outstanding record to show for it. If I do get a chance I’d like to chat with him.
Is there anything in particular that you’d like to speak to him about?
I think bowling with an older ball, especially in these conditions where there’s not much assistance from the wicket, will be at the top of the many things that I’d love to learn from him. Bowling with the old ball is the hardest craft to learn and I’d like to know what his secret is.