India has not won any ICC title since the 2013 Champions Trophy. Now Rohit Sharma has been made captain in place of Virat in T20 and ODI formats. Rohit has won five IPL titles for Mumbai Indians. Kiwi pacer Trent Boult, who was part of Mumbai till last season, said on the sidelines of New Zealand Cricket’s telecast deal with Amazon Prime that India can achieve success in the ICC tournament under Rohit’s leadership. Abhishek Tripathi talked to him on many issues of cricket. Here are the main excerpts-
Recently New Zealand toured India. He had to face defeat. What did your team lose, what did you gain?
This series has been very difficult for our team. Especially the T20 series because we lost all three matches. The team must have learned a lot from this for sure. Playing Test cricket in India is very difficult. Playing in the conditions there is the biggest challenge.
You withdrew your name from the Test team during the India tour. Is Bio Bubble taking a toll on players?
- Yes, Bio Bubble is pretty tough. It is not easy for the players as the situation is totally different. Have to stay away from family too. It’s not easy to be in a bio bubble for a long time. Sometimes we have to take such decisions.
New Zealand’s team is the world test champion, but despite this, you do not play much longer test series at home than other big teams. Is the focus more on the two-Test series?
- Yes, we haven’t played many Test matches at home. But we would love if we take part in a three- or four-match Test series. It requires better fitness. In the last few years, we have put in effort and hard work, which has paid off in the World Test Championship. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to play much Test cricket in the last years but I think after the WTC final, this will be taken care of now.
New Zealand Cricket was not getting broadcasters recently but now Amazon Prime has signed a deal to webcast New Zealand matches. Will this now allow your country’s cricket to reach the world again?
- I think New Zealand cricket will be seen by people all over the world. People in New Zealand love the game and they will also get to watch matches. New Zealand is a very small country and has a lot of fans of rugby. Cricket is not the biggest sport here.
Reaching the final of the 2019 World Cup, winning the WTC title in 2021 and then reaching the final of the T20 World Cup this year. How would you define your team’s performance in all formats?
- New Zealand had to face a constant challenge. Everyone had to play their part. As a bowler, my role was to take wickets. It was a big challenge. Then coming to India was also a different challenge. The circumstances there are completely different. From Chennai to Delhi, different conditions and pitches remain everywhere. It takes a lot of skill to play there.
You have played a lot under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma. Now he is the captain of the Indian ODI and T20 team. How do you see his captaincy?
- Rohit is a very experienced player. It will be exciting to see how he will lead the Indian team. I thoroughly enjoyed his captaincy while playing for Mumbai Indians. I used to stand near the boundary to see how he was captaining. He is very successful player of India. I am sure that the tour of India under his leadership will be successful.
What is the difference between the captaincy of Virat Kohli and Rohit?
- I can’t say for sure because I haven’t played under Kohli but he is one of India’s most energetic players. Rohit can be a successful captain and it will be exciting to watch him.
India has not won any ICC trophy since 2013. Do you think Rohit will be as successful in world cricket as in IPL?
- He has been very successful for Mumbai Indians. There is a lot of pressure out there. As a fast bowler, I can understand that but he manages to handle that pressure as a captain. I am sure Rohit will take advantage of his IPL experience for Team India as well.
The brand value of Indian cricket is very high, while Team India has not won any ICC title recently. New Zealand did all that but cricket didn’t get that much importance there?
- We have done well in the last few years and have been in form. Our strategy is very clear about how we want to play in ICC tournaments and especially in their knockout matches. We have had a good experience and won the WTC title. This has created a lot of hype and interest for our team. People are watching us and also following cricket.
While in Mumbai Indians, you bowled with Jasprit Bumrah. What is special about them? How should India use him as he plays in all three formats?
- It is very pleasant to see the fast bowlers that India has got in the last few years. I also got a chance to play in IPL with many of these bowlers. I follow Indian cricket because it is not easy to play there. There are situations in India in which I am not used to playing. it’s a challenge. The way India performed in Australia is astonishing. Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Muhammad Siraj and Muhammad in Team IndiaThere are bowlers like Shami on whose strength she is achieving success.
Hadley, Bond and Bolt. How and why does the army of fast bowlers come out in New Zealand?
- There are more people on this list. There is Tim Southee, Neil Wegner and there are young bowlers like Kylie Jameson. We now have a lot of bowlers like Headley and Bond which is a good sign for the Kiwis.