New Zealand stand-in skipper Lockie Ferguson shared on Wednesday that pace spearhead Trent Boult will have to take a lot of responsibility in the upcoming three-match ODI series against Bangladesh, in the absence of their key players Tim Southee and Matt Henry. Boult, who has been playing in several T20 leagues around the world after deciding to forego his national contract, showed how crucial his addition to the ODI squad is, claiming eight wickets in two games against England, including a fifer as well. However, New Zealand have decided to rest several other players ahead of the World Cup as well.
“Clearly a guy with a lot of experience (Boult) and certainly really enjoying him back within the group. Straightaway in England, he came in and he was exceptional. It was challenging to bowl quick. The scores were high in England and his expertise and calmness under pressure was irreplaceable,” Ferguson told reporters a day ahead of the series opener. “So I guess without Tim (Southee) and Matt Henry, Boult’s gonna have a bigger leadership role as he always does. But he’s certainly a gem for us and I certainly enjoy playing alongside and, you know, I’m sure if it’s swinging tomorrow, he’s one of the guys who’ll get some swing out of it.”
However, the stand-in skipper again shared that rotation policy was a part and parcel of modern-day cricket, considering the workload management in mind. Meanwhile, Ferguson also stated that the series was a build-up to the World Cup as well.
“I think it’s the nature of international cricket at this stage. You’ve probably seen throughout the last few years, a lot of rotation around teams just with the amount of cricket we’re playing. Some players are choosing to take a rest now, just before the World Cup and some have taken a little bit earlier. So, I think that’s great with them,” he said. “Look, we’re professionals and we take every game as it comes. This is a big series for us and a very challenging one. So, from our point of view, it’s good build-up for a World Cup; but at the same time, you know, we’re very much focused on this series. We know how strong Bangladesh are in their home conditions, so it’s a good challenge for us against them. And it’s my first time playing here, so certainly plenty to learn on my behalf. But the boys are really looking forward to tomorrow and getting underway.”
“Obviously a huge honour for myself to be captain and obviously just in an interim sort of position while our other three captains are away but obviously very privileged to be in this role. As a fast bowler, I guess things do change, but I think at the same time it brings a lot of benefits like talking to bowlers, working out plans, obviously being in their shoes a lot of the time, in the pressure moments. Certainly different conditions, but with the experience that we’ve had in the subcontinent we’ve got to learn as pace bowlers how to bowl potentially in a different role. It’s not always about maybe blowing out and getting wickets, but holding up an end so that perhaps spinners can play more of a role. However, I have seen some highlights from when England was here and there were a lot of wickets taken by pacers. So, I suppose that’s when change-ups tend to come in a bit more. Obviously with it being so humid as well, the ball tends to swing. So, we’re sort of known for our swing bowling and I’m sure we’ll still be able to use that tomorrow,” Lockie Ferguson concluded.