Who’s that devilishly handsome man? Not your pimply cousin from down country, it’s Trent Boult, the newest infantile cricketer to be rushed into the Black Caps, this time at the expense of a man old enough to be, if not his father, then at least a very estranged step-brother in Mark Gillespie.
Much as I’m loathe to praise the New Zealand selctors, they really are on something of a roll at the moment, picking young, talented in-form cricketers who have largely justified their selections. Strange days indeed.
One of his barely-shaving brethren, in Daniel Flynn, has been dropped from the side to face Australia in the Chapell-Hadlee series, which is a touch rough given his fine test form and a couple of scratchily helpful knocks against the West Indies, but again, demanding performance is a new and exciting leaf for NZC, and one that should be applauded.
With Boult’s elevation New Zealand must have one of the youngest sides in world cricket, with six of the new squad aged 25 or under, which bodes well for the future of the game. It must be noted, though, that the exciting, talented youths are balanced by a bunch of journeymen older chaps to prevent us getting too carried away. I do have a pair of soft spots for Iain O’Brien and Peter Fulton, both of whom have been recalled for the series, but that being said I cannot for a moment imagine either troubling Australia, even the vulnerable, unbalanced Australia currently sullying the ‘brand’.
Boult himself looks the business, as well as barely being born in the ’80s he took 11 wickets at 10.9 in the under-19 World Cup (7 against that powerhouse Malaysia, but stil…), and in his limited first class career has taken his wickets at 26 on the decidedly decent batting wickets which have been the norm this year.
It remains to be seen whether he can take that form to the sweltering conditions and baying crowds across the ditch, but we’ll definitely enjoy watching the kid try.