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Birthday special: Trent Boult – New Zealand’s ace in swinging conditions

An extremely wily left-arm bowler with the knack to swing the ball both ways, Trent Boult, was born in New Zealand on this day in 1989. Boult has been one of the key members of the New Zealand team for a considerable period, after he made his debut for the country in December 2011. Before that, he made his First-Class debut in 2007 against India A and was subsequently selected for the Under-19 World Cup team of New Zealand in 2008.

Earning accolades

Boult took four wickets in his debut Test against Australia in 2011, which New Zealand went on to win by an extremely close margin of seven runs in Hobart. However, Boult shot to prominence during the West Indies tour of New Zealand, when he decimated the opponents by a sensational 10-wicket haul in a Test at the Basin Reserve to bag his first-ever Player of the Match in the longest format of the game.

While he was not immediately given chances in the shorter formats of the game, his consistency and impressive exploits in the longest format eventually earned him a spot in those teams too. He made his ODI debut against West Indies in 2012, followed by his T20I debut against England next year. In a couple of years that followed, Boult established himself as one of the most important members of the team and an all-format player.

Topping the tally

Boult took the 2015 World Cup to show how capable he was while handling pressure situations, as he scalped 22 wickets from nine matches to end up as the joint-highest wicket-taker in the global tournament. While New Zealand led a stellar campaign in the tournament, they eventually lost in the finals against neighbours Australia. In the 2019 edition of the tournament, he bagged 17 wickets from 10 games, however, his team lost in a heart-breaking manner against England in the final.

Meanwhile, Boult’s impression after the 2015 World Cup was established on the entire world, and he earned himself an Indian Premier League contract worth $600,000 with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for the 2017 IPL for 5 crores, while he represented Delhi Capitals in the next two seasons before shifting to Mumbai Indians, where he has also won the title in 2020.

A veteran of 73 Tests, 93 ODIs and 34 T20Is, he has bagged 292, 169 and 46 wickets respectively. One of the fittest cricketers going around, Boult looks set to serve New Zealand for quite a few years to come.

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