Boult: Hard to determine a favourite in Champions Trophy

“There are eight quality sides having experience in all conditions. They have the class in them to produce quality cricket irrespective of the conditions,” Trent Boult said.

Amul MD R. S. Sodhi (right) and New Zealand cricketers (from left) Tim Southee, Colin de Grandhome and Trent Boult unveil the team jersey after announcing Amul’s association with the New Zealand cricket team for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, in Kolkata, on May 13.   -  PTI

The ICC Champions Trophy will test the balance of a team’s bowling attack as the conditions in England will favour both spin and swing, feels New Zealand pacer Trent Boult.

When asked if the teams from the Indian sub-continent, which have better spinners in their ranks, would be benefiting from the conditions in venues like The Oval and Edgbaston, Boult said the quality of the top eight sides of the world cannot be distinguished on that yardstick. “At this time in England, the wickets will turn. It will also be good for swing and seam bowling. There are eight quality sides having experience in all conditions. They have the class in them to produce quality cricket irrespective of the conditions,” Boult said as Indian Dairy major Amul announced a sponsorship of the New Zealand team in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Boult did not wish to pick any favourites for the tournament saying it is the matter of the team playing better cricket. “It is very hard to determine a favourite in the whole tournament where eight good sides are involved. It is a matter of who is playing better cricket,” he said. “But the challenge for the players will be moving from Twenty20 to the longer format. The guys here (in IPL) are exposed to some good cricket, so the transition will be relatively easy,” the left-arm pacer, who is a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling attack, said.

Tim Southee, Boult’s compatriot, playing for Mumbai Indians, came in support of the Indian captain Virat Kohli, who has had a poor run in the IPL, saying a batsman of his quality will be able to haul himself up on the big occasion. “There is a reason behind being called a good player and players like him do not stay out of form for too long. I am sure he is working extremely hard with such a big tournament round the corner. There is a reason why he is the best batsman in the world. He will step up as the Indian captain as well,” Southee said.

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