LONDON: New Zealand's Trent Boult hopes to succeed where cricket hero Wasim Akram failed by getting his name on the Lord's honours board during this week's first Test against England.
Left-arm seamer Boult proved a thorn in England's side with six wickets in the drawn third Test at Auckland in March where the tourists hung on to claim a draw with just one wicket standing as a thee-match series ended all square at 0-0.
Pakistan great Akram was the pre-eminent left-arm fast bowler of his generation, and arguably the best of all-time.
Yet for all the occasions he was too hot to handle for England's batsmen with his blend of reverse swing and pure pace, he never managed the five-wicket innings haul, or 10 wickets in a Test, that would have put his name on the Lord's honours board.
“Idolising Wasim Akram and what he did, it has always been with me that I want to be a swing bowler,” Boult told reporters at Lord's on Tuesday.
“That's what started me off. It doesn't get much better than him, in regards to world-class bowlers and left-arm bowlers around the world.
“I watched a lot of him growing up. I didn't really mould myself on what he does but I like how he moves the ball and bowled at a pretty good clip.
“He was the master of a lot of things. Obviously conditions where he came from suited reverse-swing, but he could still move the ball conventionally.”
In New Zealand, England captain and key opening batsman Alastair Cook fell four times to either Boult or his fellow left-armer Neil Wagner.
“There is no doubt Cook is a world-class player, but I personally enjoy bowling to left-handed batsmen,” Boult added.
“I'm not going to say I'm going to try and target him - but if we as a bowling group deliver our plans to him, we could be pretty successful.
“If the ball does tend to swing I feel like I'm always in the game to left-handed batsman. If 'overheads' are right it suits our bowling group.”