Trent Boult
Trent Boult (AFP Photo)

With handy contributions low down the order, New Zealand pacer Trent Boult has seen a significant improvement in his batting of late.

His batting average in Tests was an excellent 71 last season. More recently, in the ongoing Plunket Shield, Boult’s whirlwind knock of 61 off 37 lifted his side Northern Districts from the depths of 59/8 in reply to Otago’s 108. It was Boult’s career-best score in first-class cricket but that doesn’t mean he’s eying a promotion in the batting order.

And he has a strong reason for that. “I do enjoy number 11,” he was quoted as saying by Sutff.co.nz. “I feel like that’s where I know my game, and know my role, and it’s where I keep it simple. If I start moving up the order I’ll start thinking that I can bat better than I can, and that will probably be my downfall. So no changes in my thinking.”

Boult’s career batting average in Tests is 16.02 but it’s his bowling for which he is known for. With 215 wickets at 27.84 in 4 Tests, the 29-year-old is the bowling spearhead for New Zealand. And it’s that area on which he wants to keep his undivided attention.

“Bowling’s obviously my trade, and what I’m picked for at the end of the day. So that’s obviously taking the majority of the focus. I definitely enjoy my batting, I try to do it with as big a smile on my face as possible. We all know, tailenders, how frustrating it can become for the opposition when guys are willing to hang in there and obviously score runs and add to the total.

Explaining how he approaches batting, Boult said “Generally you’re batting with a guy that’s established, so the main goal is not throwing away your wicket and allowing the opposition to get through you. The main ingredient is being as still as I can when the ball does come down. So if I am trying to move around a bit I generally get it out of the way before the ball is delivered. I find that when I am batting my best I am generally just trying to hit the ball, so that’s as complicated as it gets with me.”

For a stellar last season, Boult, who recently became father, he was the chosen as the New Zealand Test player of the year and also awarded with Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for being the best overall player.

“I was pretty happy with last year. I got the ball doing pretty much what I was after. Obviously putting performances like that on the board, it’s about backing it up, and proving I can continue to get better,” he said.