Bangladesh can expect bouncer barrage on flat Basin Reserve track: Trent Boult
Trent Boult expects to have to bend his back in Wellington as New Zealand seek victory. © AFP

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult has predicted another short-pitched assault on Bangladesh‘s batsmen in the second Test starting Friday in Wellington, with conditions at the Basin Reserve expected to be flat once more.

New Zealand return to the scene of a drawn Test match in December, in which the Sri Lankan pair of Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews famously batted out the entire fourth day before rain came to the tourists’ aid on the last day. Earlier in that match, New Zealand posted 578 with the opener Tom Latham carrying his bat for 264.

After that draw, New Zealand’s coach Gary Stead called for better surfaces in the country but Boult is not getting his hopes up.

“I’m expecting similar conditions [to December]. Hopefully we don’t experience a day four where it was chanceless and wicketless. If so we need to find ways to take wickets and we feel we’ve got the abilities in the group to do it,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “We’ve played enough cricket here to understand what the wicket is like, and there’s been a lot of batting records scored here for a reason. It’s a solid wicket and it only gets better. Hopefully we can start well and get in front of the game early on and react from there.”

It has been six Tests since the left-arm quick managed more than three wickets in an innings at Basin Reserve, and as a long and dry home summer continues – even with rain forecast for Friday morning – he thinks New Zealand will have to resort to a bouncer barrage to unsettle Bangladesh.

“I’m pretty sure they’ll be expecting it. In my option it’s a tactic that works well when there’s not much in the wicket, there’s no swing and you’re almost left with not too many other options,” said Boult. “We’ve got Wags [Neil Wagner] who is an expert at being able to execute that plan. It’s something that’s been pretty effective for us so I’m sure it’ll be much of the same.”

Boult is New Zealand’s fourth most successful bowler in Tests with 239 wickets, close behind new-ball partner Tim Southee (243).

New Zealand won the first Test in Hamilton by an innings and 51 runs last week.