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June 18, 2019

Trent Boult

Birmingham, England, UK

Q. Greetings, Trent. How much assistance are you expecting out of that wicket out there?
TRENT BOULT: Not really too sure, to be honest. It looks pretty light. Obviously, there's been a lot of weather around, but it's just going to be one of those things that we, I suppose, adjust to as it comes. Looking forward to getting out there. We've obviously had a few quiet days. We can't wait to get started tomorrow.

Q. You've only got three wickets so far in this tournament. Is it the start to this tournament that you were hoping for? What would you put that down to?
TRENT BOULT: Well, we've got 30 wickets, probably that's the only main thing I'm worried about. I think as a unit we've been going really well. With the ball, we've put the ball where we wanted, and we've put a lot of pressure on the teams that we've come against. If we can continue to do it as a unit and obviously give us some lower totals to chase, then I'll be happy.

It's exciting being here, and hopefully there's a few more wickets to come.

Q. Trent, which South African batsman are you looking forward to bowling to the most and why?
TRENT BOULT: I think we've got to respect all of them, to be honest. They've got some classy players at the top of the innings. They've obviously had an interesting start to their tournament, so they'll be hungry to come out and perform. A lot of respect for their top order. Obviously led by an experienced captain as well, and they've got some dangerous hitters lower down in the order. So yeah, 100 percent we need to be on the mark with how we start. Obviously, that's my role to hopefully get some early wickets. Looking forward to getting into it.

Q. Trent, have you had to try a few other things during this competition if the ball is not swinging? You were challenged by the umpires about running on the pitch at one stage. Does that mean you've had to change things a little bit? I've seen you working pretty hard away from the nets at times with your bowling.
TRENT BOULT: Yeah, I suppose I'm always trying to get better, first of all, but when the ball hasn't swung, it's always been the biggest challenge to try to get wickets and try to, I suppose, apply pressure. In terms of running on the wicket, it's not really something that I'm worried about. I'm just trying to get close to the stumps and, I suppose, make the most out of the swing that is available.

Expected to come against some pretty good wickets with the venues that we're playing on later in this tournament. So, yeah, just trying to sharpen the toolbox and make sure I've got some tricks up my sleeve.

Q. Trent, New Zealand have knocked South Africa out of the last two World Cups. This is essentially a knockout match for them because of the start that they had. Do you think that in any way confers an advantage psychologically to you? Have you thought about it, talked about it?
TRENT BOULT: We haven't spoken about it, no. There have always been exciting games between New Zealand and South Africa over the past World Cups and past time that we've met each other. 2015, the semifinal at Eaton Park was one of the greatest games that the Kiwis have played. It obviously got a lot of attention back home, and it was a cool one to be a part of it. We're looking forward to facing them tomorrow, and I'm sure they're eager and hungry to put in a good performance because it's a big one for them too.

Q. On that note, almost a followup question, what do you remember from that 2015 game? Do you look back on it? Are you looking at it in preparation for this game?
TRENT BOULT: I remember hoping like heck that I don't have to bat, but here the little gazebo down there at Eden Park, when we saw the ball soar over the fence in the last couple of balls there, it was pretty ecstatic and a pretty cool feeling. The crowd was awesome that followed that World Cup back home. I think it did a lot for cricket in New Zealand. It's awesome to still be here representing and all those people that are proud to follow the Black Caps.

Q. South Africa, obviously, the last time we played them, they won at home, and they're sort of saying they've got the mental advantage because of that. What do you say to that? Do you think there's any truth in that?
TRENT BOULT: Mental advantage? I'm not really too sure. It's a World Cup. It's a funny place to be, I suppose. Obviously, it's a big game for them. It's a must win in their tournament. We've been playing some good cricket, so we're not going to dive into too much of what they've been saying, but, yeah, the boring answer of going out there and just taking them on is probably where I'm leading.

Like I said, there's been some great games played between us over the years, and I'm hoping tomorrow is going to be another one.

Q. Trent, why do you think New Zealand has had the upper hand over South Africa at World Cups?
TRENT BOULT: I'm not too sure. Like I said, they're big games. Whether there's a lot of pressure on them, I'm not too sure. For us, we know what works well. For me as a bowler, I'm sure I want to lead the bowling attack as best as I can. If we can do the things that we do well and we know that works well, put some early pressure on and get some wickets, then, yeah, hopefully they feel that pressure a little bit more. So, yeah, we're looking forward to it.

Q. Trent, looking at this World Cup, the opponents in front of you tomorrow, why do you think they've done so badly so far the South Africans?
TRENT BOULT: I'm not really too sure. I haven't followed too much of the games religiously or anything like that. They had a tough start to the tournament. Obviously, the first game is always a nerve-racking one. Not the ideal start, I'm sure, is what I'm sure their thinking is.

They'll be hungry, and we have to expect they'll be eager to come out and perform. They're coming off a win, and they'll be excited to bring their game plan here, and it should be a good spectacle.

Q. From the outside looking in, New Zealand has always kind of come across as the nice guys of world cricket. Maybe that perception has perhaps held you guys back. What do you think about that? Is that something that's kind of like conscious of in the dressing room?
TRENT BOULT: No, not as such. I don't think we're going out there to aim to be the nice guys of world cricket or put on a front of any sort. I think we've just been genuine and been who we are. I think, yeah, just playing the game in good spirits really. It's just a game, in my opinion, and it's about enjoying it. That's why I fell in love with the game, and I think that's why a lot of guys and girls and kids everywhere follow the team is because we go out and have fun.

I don't think we need to change too much in terms of hindering us or holding us back from accomplishing anything. Yeah, we're just looking forward to hopefully progressing further in this tournament, and then come the do-or-die matches, hopefully put in some good performances.

Q. Trent, there are several connections between New Zealand and Warwickshire. Have you been able to tap into that local knowledge to get the best out of the Edgbaston conditions here?
TRENT BOULT: Not me personally. Maybe some guys on the squad. I've only played a couple of games here, I reckon. I haven't dived into too many local secrets or anything like that. It looks like a great place to play. I remember playing Australia here in the Champions Trophy a couple of years ago, and the rain played a little bit of impact on that. Hopefully, the weather doesn't get involved tomorrow.

Q. Of course, Jeetan Patel is the captain of Warwickshire. Have you had any conversations with him about the Edgbaston wicket?
TRENT BOULT: I haven't personally, no.

Q. Trent, having worked with some of the South African bowlers at the Capitals, have you been able to give any advice to the batsmen from that?
TRENT BOULT: Yeah, I spent time with Kagiso Rabada, quality bowler. Obviously, probably anything I say is not needed. I think they respect him enough and they appreciate that he's one of the best bowlers in the world for a reason. I know we're all excited to go out and face all of their bowling attack, and I spoke a little bit about their batters being quality players. My opinion, they've got some of the best bowlers in the world as well, so it will be a good challenge.

Q. Trent, do you feel that the New Zealand attack have been sufficiently challenged in the matches that you've played so far? You faced some weaker opposition. Would this be kind of the biggest challenge so far?
TRENT BOULT: Yeah, I think it's definitely going to be a big challenge to see where we're at. I think we've been lucky enough to be on a couple of new surfaces that have offered a lot to our style of bowling. Of course, the challenge is always going to be, I suppose, to see what we can do on the wickets that don't offer too much, and that's what we're prepared for here. It's a quality wicket. There's been a lot of runs scored here, so it's definitely going to be a good challenge.

Q. Thank you very much. How pleased are you that you don't have to bowl against AB de Villiers, and what do you make of the decision by South Africa to leave him out?
TRENT BOULT: I really enjoy bowling to the likes of the ABs, Chris Gayles, the Kohlis. I'm sure every bowler does. They grow up wanting to play this game for a reason, and that's to challenge yourself against the best players in the world. In my opinion, AB is still one of those players. It would be awesome to be playing against him. I don't have too many opinions on South Africa's cricket to do what they do and who they want to play, but, yeah, it would have been great to see him here.

Q. South Africa was seen as serious rivals before the World Cup. Now that you've got the chance to knock them out before the knockout stages, what does that feel like, and how great would that be?
TRENT BOULT: It's not driving us in any respect. Every World Cup game, in my opinion, is a big stage, and it's a chance for us to go out there and perform and show we can bring the game and the style that we play back home in New Zealand very well to test it against quality players in foreign conditions on a big stage in front of all these fancy cameras. So we can't wait.

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