Boult wants to 'mirror' Shaheen masterclass against India

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Shaheen inspiration: New Zealand's Trent Boult (AFP/Paul ELLIS)
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Veteran fast bowler Trent Boult will attempt to "mirror" Pakistan bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi's masterclass when New Zealand face India in a crucial T20 World Cup clash on Sunday.

Shaheen, like Boult a left-arm paceman, conjured up a mesmerising early spell to dismiss Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul as Pakistan routed India by 10 wickets last weekend.

Now 32-year-old Boult said he will try to mimic that performance against Virat Kohli's team in a game which is key to both sides' hopes of making the semi-finals.

"I thought the way Shaheen bowled the other night from a left-armer, watching on I thought it was amazing," said Boult.

"Early wickets are definitely the focus for us as a bowling group. Hopefully, from my point of view, it swings around a little bit and I can mirror what Shaheen did the other night."

Pakistan, meanwhile, are almost certain to make the semi-finals after convincing wins over India, the Kiwis and Afghanistan.

Boult has been impressed by Pakistan in the first week of the Super 12 tournament.

While many observers see England, India and Australia as the favourites, Babar Azam's Pakistan who have taken the World Cup by storm.

New Zealand lost to Pakistan by five wickets in midweek in Sharjah after being dismissed for 134.

That day it was not Shaheen but fellow fast bowler Haris Rauf causing havoc with 4-22.

"Their bowlers bring a lot of pressure, a lot of accuracy. The batting unit definitely hungry to put on a decent score, and really put some pressure on the opposition," said Boult who had 1-25 from his four overs in that game.

"But the way Pakistan have gone about their business in this tournament so far, they've really set the tone."

New Zealand have enjoyed a big-match edge over India in recent years.

They claimed an 18-run win in the 2019 50-over World Cup semi-finals and then clinched the World Test Championship final by eight wickets earlier this year.

"We've had some good memories. We're really excited about tomorrow night in terms of the style of cricket that we play," added Boult.

dj/pb