Trent Boult averages 12.50 with the pink ball. No wonder the Kiwis are desperate he’s fit

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New Zealand is quietly confident stars Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme will be fit for the opening Test against Australia in Perth but the injured pair will undergo a rigorous testing process.

Pace bowler Boult (side strain) and all-rounder de Grandhomme (abdominal tear) suffered problems during the first Test win over England in Mount Maunganui, forcing them out of the second match in Hamilton.

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Twin tons seal NZ series win

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Coach Gary Stead said both remain in doubt for the Test at Perth Stadium starting on Thursday next week, although he was encouraged that they had lightly rolled their arm over in the Hamilton nets without difficulty. They’ll do the same on Wednesday before undergoing a more vigorous workout on Friday to ensure they’re on the plane that leaves for Western Australia a day later.

“(De Grandhomme) is probably a little bit more advanced but Trent scrubbed up really well today, which is encouraging,” Stead said after New Zealand drew the second England Test to clinch the series 1-0.

“I don’t know if I’m really confident. I’m quietly optimistic that they’re both tracking where we want them to be at.”

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Boult’s involvement in the day-night opener in Perth will be critically important.

He has been New Zealand’s most dangerous bowler in both the pink ball Tests they’ve played, running through England’s first innings to set up victory at Eden Park two years ago. He has taken 16 wickets at 12.50 in day-night Test cricket.

The injured duo will undergo further testing in three training sessions in Perth with Stead wary that the pair compromise their fitness for the remaining Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

“Both are going to have to prove their fitness a couple of days out and bowl a decent spell of probably 10-12 overs at least,” he said.

“It’s a real balancing act because you don’t want to push them too early either, and make them worse.”


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