Trent Boult and Tim Southee will prove a handful for openers


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The Independent Online

New Zealand have arrived with one of the most vaunted opening bowling partnerships in the world. It is not often that has been said in the 85 years since they became a Test nation – though any attack featuring Sir Richard Hadlee would rate a mention – but Trent Boult and Tim Southee have made it obligatory.

Schoolboys together, they played in the same provincial and national age group sides and are already their country’s most durable new-ball pair. They have opened the attack in 21 Tests and taken 179 wickets while doing so. They are a threat anywhere but, as swing bowlers in English conditions with the higher-seamed Duke ball, they will be a handful.

“We’ve played a lot of cricket together,” said Southee at Lord’s on Tuesday. “It’s great that we play one-day and Test cricket together, it’s nice to have that understanding.

“We know each other very well off the field as well and we talk a lot about cricket. Sometimes things can get heated in the middle but we know each other well on a personal level so we can calm each other down, or if someone needs a rev up we can do that.”

Southee was outstanding at Lord’s two years ago, taking 10 wickets in the match. But New Zealand found England’s prolific opening pair of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad at the height of their powers. Broad took 7 for 44 as the tourists were bowled out for 68 in their second innings.

Southee and Boult are a right arm-left arm combination approaching the height of their powers, as the World Cup showed. Southee, 26, is seven months older than Boult, and took 7 for 33 in a pool match against England.

Boult went on to become the tournament’s joint-highest wicket-taker (with Mitchell Starc) with 22 as New Zealand reached the final, where they lost to Australia.

Southee said: “The whole World Cup, the way we played was a dream come true.”