New Zealand hopeful Boult will be back for second Test

By Sports Desk December 15, 2019

Trent Boult is "likely" to make a timely return for the Boxing Day Test after New Zealand were hammered by Australia at Perth Stadium.

Boult missed the start of the three-match series due to a side strain and could only watch on as Australia sealed a crushing 296-run victory on day four.

The left-arm paceman is set to feature in the second Test at the MCG as a replacement for Lockie Ferguson, who suffered a calf injury on day one of his Test debut in the day-night contest this week.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson said: "His [Boult] fitness is looking likely. He was a close one for this so, hopefully, he will be fully fit for the next match."

There may be at least one further change to the side in Melbourne after struggling opening batsman Jeet Raval fell for only one in both innings.

"I suppose Jeet is like every other batsman in the world and that's that they want more and more runs and you always have good days and bad days," Williamson added.

"These are some hard lessons for him and great experiences as well. In terms of looking forward, just having finished this game, it's important we reflect on it and any selections will be based upon the surfaces and the squad that we have at the time."

Williamson refused to blame a lack of time to prepare for the pink-ball match as an excuse for a crushing loss in a match that came so soon after sealing 1-0 series win over England.

The skipper said: "It's hard to just blame preparation. It's always impossible to know what the perfect preparation is, but there are some parts to the pink-ball Test that are unique.

"We've just come off the back of a couple of Test matches against England and there's simply not enough time to achieve all of those things.

"It was important that we just tried to address a number of the parts that we had to adapt to, quickly as possible in training. By no means did we play our best cricket, but at the same time, Australia were outstanding throughout this game.

"Their cricket, but also their pink-ball tactics, were right on point and they basically led from start to finish in this game."

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