Boult in line to play second Test against England

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07 Jun 2021 | 05:26 AM
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Boult in line to play second Test against England

New Zealand Trent Boult is in contention to play the second Test against England after quarantine relaxations

Left-arm pacer Trent Boult is in line to feature in New Zealand's second Test against England at Edgbaston after relaxed quarantine protocols allowed him to train immediately after arriving in UK last Friday.

Boult travelled home to be with family following the suspension of IPL 2021 last month. Black Caps' head coach Gary Stead said the team management will take the decision depending on Boult's fitness levels.

"There's a chance, there are a few things that have changed. The British government has relaxed their quarantine stipulations so Trent is out of isolation three or four days earlier than expected," Stead said on Sunday, after the drawn first Test.

"Trent is more keen than he was a week ago and that's because he's over here now, he's part of the environment. Probably right now it's a bit early to make that call, he's only been here 48 hours and probably still suffering a little bit of jet lag," he added.

With Boult back in contention, New Zealand could rest one of their three frontline pacers - Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee or Neil Wagner - who featured in the first Test with Southee the most likely choice.

"We have to manage all the bowlers. Haven't had that conversation yet with Tim. He bowled really well, he's a work horse and loves the hard work. Again, a conversation we'll have with our support staff in the morning to see where everyone is at and scrub up before we make that firm decision," Stead said.

Stead also has to look for a spin-bowling option after left-armer Mitchell Santner, who came in to the first Test with a wounded finger, struggled in the second innings. Ajaz Patel and uncapped Rachin Ravindra are the possible options.

"Mitch got the scab knocked off where it's been healing…another one we'll talk through tomorrow," Stead said.

"It's hard when you look at a five-day game to not consider a spinner. At various times it's always good to have those different options. The pitches here provide us a with a slightly different outlook to what they do in New Zealand," he said.

The second Test between England and New Zealand will begin on Thursday at Edgbaston.

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