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Trent Boult set to miss England series to focus on World Test Championship final

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New Zealand coach Gary Stead expects Trent Boult to miss the upcoming series against England with a view to being fresh for the inaugural World Test Championship final against India.

Trent Boult wearing a blue hat: 2.23324094.jpg

The left-arm seamer was given special dispensation to skip this week’s first Test against England at Lord’s after returning home to New Zealand following the Indian Premier League’s postponement at the beginning of May.

However, Boult will only arrive in the UK on Friday and the priority now is to make sure he is fit and firing for their historic game against India at the Ageas Bowl, which starts on June 18 – meaning he will almost certainly be absent for the second Test against England at Edgbaston the week before.

a man jumping in the air: Trent Boult has taken 281 Test wickets at an average of 28.02 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Trent Boult has taken 281 Test wickets at an average of 28.02

“I don’t think you’ll see Trent in the two-Test matches here,” Stead said. “He arrives on Friday, our planning and what we’re looking at doing with Trent is having him ready for the World Test Championship final.

“He’s been home, he has had a week of bowling over there which has been great after the fair amount of isolation time at the end of the IPL.

“But our view with Trent right now is it’s unlikely that he will play the Test at Edgbaston. And he’s more likely to be just available for the one-off Test.”

England will be without several of their established performers for the brace of Tests, with Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer recovering from injuries while several others have been rested following their exertions at the IPL.

a group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field: Stuart Broad, left, and James Anderson have in excess of 1,100 Test wickets between them (Glyn Kirk/PA)

Stuart Broad left, and James Anderson have in excess of 1,100 Test wickets between them 

Stead, though, pointed out England can still call upon James Anderson and Stuart Broad – who have more than 1,000 Test wickets between them – and asserted that many of those in the home line-up have benefited from playing county cricket for the last few weeks.

“When you’ve got an opening bowling attack that’s got over 1,000 Test wickets between them that doesn’t look like there’s anything light there,” Stead added.

“The England team still have a fair amount of experience, scattered through their whole ranks there with the bat and the ball.

“We certainly go into this series under no illusions that we’re playing against an England side that are now nearly in the middle of their summer, that have played a lot of cricket and I guess for us, probably, almost feel as though we’re slightly behind the eight-ball with that at the moment.”

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