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India vs New Zealand: Rohit Sharma ready for left-arm pace of Trent Boult

Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team has a dominant bowling line-up but they are missing the services of a left-arm pacer and this is one area the New Zealand cricket team have an edge in the form of Trent Boult.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 20, 2017 20:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs New Zealand,India national cricket team,New Zealand cricket team
Trent Boult could be a vital factor for the New Zealand cricket team as they look to win an ODI series against Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team in India for the first time.(PTI)

There is no doubt this is one of the most potent pace attacks India has had in a long time. In Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Ishant Sharma, India has a rich reservoir of talent. The only missing link is a left-arm pace bowler.

The topic has come up because it’s the only department where New Zealand will have an edge in the one-day series starting on Sunday.

Trent Boult gives the New Zealand attack that advantage, feels India vice-captain Rohit Sharma. Boult had got Rohit out twice in the closely fought last series in October, taking six wickets in his four matches.

“The last time India had a left-arm seamer was a long time back. I think Zaheer Khan was the last to play in ODIs. Our team is used to that now, and we have performed exceedingly well. For us as a batting unit, it will be a challenge to face a left arm seamer. Trent Boult is one of their prime left-arm fast bowlers. It will be a huge challenge for all batters to come good against,” Rohit told the media ahead of training at the Wankhede Stadium, venue for Sunday’s match.

Zaheer’s the past left-arm link

Since Zaheer last played an ODI in 2012 India have had a dearth of left-arm pacers. They tried Jaydev Unadkat, but the experiment lasted seven ODIs, ending in 2013.

Boult, on the other hand, has warmed up for the contest, claiming 5/38 in a losing cause in the first warmup match against Board President’s XI.

“We played them last time so we know what they bring to the table, and what they are capable of as a bowling unit. It’s not about one left-arm seamer. Their bowling attack is very competitive and they tend to perform together as a bowling unit.

“They had a very similar bowling attack (last year). Again, it will be the same thing going there and doing what we did as a team.” India won that series 3-2.

Rohit Sharma has been in great form against the New Zealand team, averaging 76,75.6 and 59.2 in the last three series. (AFP)

Rohit vs Kiwi Bowlers

One battle everyone is looking forward to is Rohit versus the Kiwi new-ball attack. He is in fine form, having averaged 76, 75.50 and 59.20 in his last three series.

Rohit declared: “I’ve got on the train I wanted to and now I don’t want to get down, I want to keep going.”

He said, “The hunger (for runs) will never go, you will take every series as an opportunity and go out and perform the same. Every series I play, I feel it is the first game of my career. That’s the kind of pressure that comes with the spot. You never feel you have played xyz amount of matches, you start fresh and that is the hallmark of the great players we have seen over the years.”

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 20:01 IST