Сricket

New Zealand starting third Test against England with ‘blank canvas’

Trent Boult is ready to move on from his chastening experience at the hands of Jonny Bairstow and embrace a “blank canvas” in this week’s series finale against England.

Boult was in the thick of things at Trent Bridge when the second LV= Insurance Test slipped through the Black Caps’ fingers, repeatedly smashed into the stands as Bairstow embarked on an outrageous display of ball-striking.

Boult had barely put a foot wrong in the first four-and-a-half days but had no answer for Bairstow’s stunning century, which powered England to a five-wicket victory and an unassailable 2-0 lead.

The contest moves on to the Yorkshireman’s home ground of Headingley on Thursday, with Boult eager to go again.

“Jonny’s pumped me a couple of times, actually. The way he played on that final day was very special, he really took the game by the horns and didn’t let go,” he said.

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“He’s definitely a big player for them in the middle order and we know how destructive he is, he’s done it many a time. But nothing too much changes for us, hopefully we get into him nice and early this time when the ball is a bit new and we’ll see what happens.

“It’s a blank canvas here again and we’ll look forward to seeing what happens. I suppose it’s hard being 2-0 down in the series, but there’s a lot of pride in that changing room from some of the performances we’ve put out over the last few years.

“I know the boys are looking forward to the challenge.”

New Zealand will welcome back captain Kane Williamson in Leeds after a positive Covid Test forced him out of the previous clash.

Williamson is coming off the back of a lean run of scores, but adds class and composure to the team.

“He was disappointed to have to sit out the last game, it was a big game for us,” said Boult.

“He’s hungry to get out there to lead the side and desperate to get some runs. He’s a big player for us and his record speaks for itself.”

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