Paceman Boult aims to keep pressure on India in first Test

New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on Tuesday sought to play mind games ahead of the first cricket Test against India, saying the visiting batsmen are too attacking and that sustained pressure can get them to commit errors.

“Indians are attacking batsmen. Everyone knows how they are going to play. I will look to target them with swing and exploit their defensive techniques with the ball moving both ways. As long as we can get them to play shots in the areas we want them to, it’s going to be rewarding for us,” said Boult.

“Of course, Tests are a whole different ball game than the ODIs, but the basics remain the same. If you consistently bowl in good areas, in terms of line and length, and swing from there, that works in all formats. But it’s definitely going to be a challenge because they are world class batsmen,” he added.

New Zealand will take on India in the first Test here, beginning February 6. When asked if the short-ball will be his weapon of choice as well, given how the Indian batsmen struggled against the Black Caps in the ODI series, Boult replied: “Well, you have to mix them up with a good line and length to put pressure on the batsmen.”

“Bowl them once every two or three overs and then that bouncer will keep them off their game. Then look for the good length ball and try to induce an error. But even if it doesn’t work, you cannot get carried away with bouncers and half volleys,” he said.

The hosts’ top-ranked Test bowler Boult has returned to full fitness from an injury lay-off but wreaked havoc in the West Indies Test series that was a prelude to this contest, picking up 20 wickets in three Tests.

“It’s good to get in the middle and get a few overs after an injury break. I want to take confidence out of that because we have a big challenge coming up here in a couple of days. I am fully fit now, but yes I was disappointed to get sidelined because of that. Still, it was good in a way because I am ready now for this big series.

“Swing bowling with consistency was the secret of my success against the West Indies. I am expecting similar conditions in the next couple of weeks and I am eager to exploit them,” he said.

The first Test will be played on a drop-in pitch at Eden Park, while the second Test beginning February 14, will be at the good-old home of swing bowling Basin Reserve in Wellington. “In Auckland, we have a drop-in pitch and I have just played one Test here (against England in early 2013). But it is a good pitch with ample bounce. It can be quite good for batting and then takes turn towards the end of the Test, but I doubt that will be the case this time around because spin is a strong point of the Indians. But it is generally a good wicket,” Boult said.

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