New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult has attributed the low-scoring thrillers at the ongoing World Cup to the “glossier” Kookaburra balls which offer more swing, making the contest between bat and ball even.
“The balls are actually different for this tournament. They’ve got a different gloss on them, they’re painted differently, so there’s definitely been a little bit more swing,” said Boult, who took his 150th ODI wicket against Bangladesh at The Oval on Wednesday.
“Conditions have been good but I believe there should be that little period at the start of the game where it’s an even battle of bat versus ball, so it’s nice to see the ball moving like it is at the moment.”
Boult got his World Cup preparation off to a fine start by picking four wickets in a warm-up game against India.
“The white balls have been quite prominent, you can see the quarter seams and everything with the ball, but it’s fully covered now. It’s nice to hold in the hand and it’s moving a little bit, so I’m very happy.”
The use of two new balls for each innings has robbed pacers the chance to go for reverse swing due to the lack of sufficient wear and tear.
“I’d love to see (just) one ball in ODI cricket to be honest,” said Boult, who snapped four for 33 against India in the warm-up game.
“I think any reverse swing at the end can really help any death bowler, the margin for error becomes slightly bigger and the hitting zone is a little bit smaller.
“I’m not sure where it’s going to get to but the invention of slower balls and knuckleballs and two bouncers and all that carry on has given a couple of cards up the sleeves.”
New Zealand will face Afghanistan on Saturday and Boult said his team will treat their opponents with respect.
“There’s a lot of respect for the Afghanistanis who we are coming up against. They’ve got some quality players, some experienced players. I’ve never played at Taunton but I hear it’s quite a small ground so we will have to be on the button,” Boult said.
“We are looking forward to that challenge and then there are some very big games to come in the tournament. To be 2 and 0 with a little bit of momentum behind us is a good position.