Mumbai: He has swung the white leather and the match many a times for New Zealand but Sunrisers Hyderabad speedster Trent Boult continues to warm the benches in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). Boult, who surged to the numero uno spot in the ICC ODI bowlers’ ranking in January this year, didn’t feature in the Kiwi playing XI that reached the semifinals of the World T20 recently.
The 26-year-old Boult hasn't played a T20 match since New Zealand faced Pakistan in Wellington on January 22. The Blackcaps won that series 2-1.
In an exclusive chat with this correspondent, Boult, who was the joint leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets, along with Australia Mitchell Starc, opens up on how he can make a difference to the Sunrisers line up, being a more lethal bowler than Mustafizur Rahman and his undying love playing Dire Straits tracks on his guitar.
Excerpts from the interview…
Do you think the lack of time spent out there in the middle during the World T20 has cost you a place in the Sunrisers line-up?
No, I don’t think so. I think it’s just the nature of the tournament. The same happened during the T20 World Cup. But yeah, I’m training well and setting up myself in case the opportunity does come up for the Sunrisers.
What was on your mind while sitting on the bench during the World T20?
World T20 was a good time. The team did extremely well. We were faced with some very tricky wickets. There was a lot more turn on offer. The balance of the side was needed for a more spin friendly attack. It was a good tournament and our team performed pretty well.
I would have really loved to go out there as well. I don’t want to be sitting on the bench. I want to go out there and play the game, take wickets and win it for the team. But unfortunately, I couldn’t. It is how it is, but you’ve just got to be positive, keep smiling and get on with it. When I get the opportunity, which I am sure I will at some point, I am hoping to take it with both hands.
How difficult it is to find a place in the playing XI when you have bowlers like Nehra, Sran, Mustafiz and Bhuvi?
Yes, it’s a tricky one to find the right balance. The team has been performing extremely well. We have played some good cricket. Last night too we were doing it really well. There’s some great quality in the entire squad. Mustafiz has been leading the attack very nicely, well-backed by Bhuvi, who is a neat wicket-taker and Nehra as well. It’s healthy competition. Hopefully, if I do get a chance I can help like these guys take Sunrisers home.
How different is Mustafizur from you? How would you evaluate the skills sets both you players have?
We both are entirely different bowlers. I like to think of myself as a more lethal, swing bowler who can take wickets up front whereas he is very skilful with his change of paces. His yorkers are superb as well. But each offers something in a way they can.
Do you think you would you have made a difference to the Sunrisers line up?
Yes. We were just outplayed in a couple of games. I like to think I can offer something with my aggressive kind of swing bowling, trying to take wickets.
Who do you look up to in the Sunrisers camp?
It’s an awesome opportunity to join the likes of Ashish. I’ve observed him during the years of my career. He is a very, very experienced bowler around the world. I’ve tried to pick his brains and try to learn on how to bowl in the sub-continent, which is a very tricky place. Ashish is very intelligent. He tells me to be confident on the ball you can bowl and where you can put pressure on batsmen. Probably I can learn more from him.
Growing up, who did you idolise? What cues do you take from his bowling?
My idol is Wasim Akram. He has been really good playing in these type of conditions, swinging the ball as well as reverse swinging it, something that I have to learn.
New Zealand have accepted playing against India in the first day-night Test in the sub-continent. How different do you think the kookaburra will behave here at night?
It’s going to be interesting I think. The ball swings nicely here most of the time. The spin bowlers also have spun it a lot. If the challenge arises, it’s going to be pretty exciting. It will be interesting when it happens but there’s still a lot of cricket to be played in 20-20.
Despite having a balanced team, New Zealand have crumbled on big occasions? Where do you think the side is lacking?
I don’t think the side is lacking anywhere. I think we have just come up playing good sides and there was a lot of pressure in those tournaments. The brand and style of cricket we have been playing over the last two or three years has been phenomenal. We have built up a great reputation at home. The challenge now is for players to play the game even better and deliver over there. I wouldn’t say we are crumbling but we have been outplayed on some occasions but that’s the beauty of the game.
You’ve always been that mellow lad off the field, but deep down is there a naughty Trent inside?
Ummm… not that I know of (laughs). I’m a pretty nice guy. I love playing cricket, golf and the guitar when I get the time.
What are the tracks you love to play on the guitar?
Yeah, I love music. I love the Eagles, Dire Straits and pretty much anything that passes your time.
You were spotted visiting a children’s orphanage recently. Which part of Indian culture attracts you?
India is incredible. The opportunity to go to that orphanage and interact with those children touched me. Phenomenal work is being done at that orphanage. The people, colour, culture and the food is amazing. It’s always fun to travel to India.
Your favourite Indian dish?
I love biryani at the moment. I like all my curries. I love the fish too.
If cricket wasn’t in the picture, where would Trent Boult be?
Probably on the golf course or maybe in a band but I am definitely loving being a part of the cricket family and the cricket environment....