Trent Boult is confident the experience of playing a first Test at Lord's will prove an inspiration and not a burden when New Zealand face England in their series opener at 'the home of cricket'. Left-arm swing bowler Boult was a member of the New Zealand side that so nearly sealed a series-clinching won over England in Auckland two months ago, taking six first-innings wickets.
England, thanks mainly to an unbeaten hundred from wicketkeeper Matt Prior, clung on for a draw with one wicket standing and a three-match contest ended 0-0 after neither side was able to force a victory. Now New Zealand have come to England for a two-Test series, with the second match at Headingley starting next week.
The tourists are rightly in bullish mood, with the 23-year-old Boult -making his first trip to the UK - one of several members of the Kiwi team set to play their maiden Test at Lord's. "It's exciting to be here and I'm just looking forward to it now," Boult said before New Zealand's practice session at Lord's on Tuesday.
"It's unbelievable here. There's no doubt there's a great feel to the ground and it's awesome to be here." However, he added: "We don't want to be daunted. It's obviously a massive opportunity that lies ahead of us and we're looking to take it on and back ourselves to come away with a win."
Boult said he expected England to prove even tougher opponents in home conditions but added New Zealand were ready for the challenge. "There were a lot of emotions going through my head over those last two days (in Auckland)," he said. "But in the end, I suppose it was so close but so far.
"This is England's hometown now. They're a world-class side and they're definitely going to hit us hard. But we're expecting that and we're ready for that. "We're here to win the series and winning at Lord's is top of my list."