Boult set to return for ODI opener against Australia
AUCKLAND (Reuters) - Trent Boult is expected to be fit for New Zealand's opening one-day international against Australia in Sydney on Sunday after the strike bowler missed the second test win over Pakistan due to knee discomfort.
Boult sustained a knee injury on New Zealand's tour of India and he felt some discomfort when he slipped during the first test against Pakistan in Christchurch earlier this month.
He was ruled out of the second match in Hamilton, which New Zealand won by 138 runs to clinch their first series win over Pakistan since 1985.
Coach Mike Hesson said Boult was tracking "very well" for Sunday's opener in the Chappell-Hadlee series having passed a fitness test.
"He's recovered. I think when you know you've only got to bowl 10 overs, it's a lot easier than obviously the demands of the test match," Hesson told reporters before the team left for Australia on Wednesday.
Boult's return would be a boost for Hesson's side as they make the quick transition from test matches to one-day cricket, though captain Kane Williamson said the confidence from their victory over Pakistan would help.
"One thing I do know is winning's a lot better than losing, so I guess it's nice coming away with a series win, having played very good cricket as a unit," Williamson said.
"In saying that, the change in format, also the change in side, means that it is a separate challenge.
"It is important you bring yourself back to the challenges that are in front of you."
Hesson added that New Zealand could also take confidence from their consistent performances in the shorter versions of the game over the last two to three years.
"We're a reliable white-ball side," he said.
"A lot of these guys have never played in Australia. There'll be some good crowds, I'm sure, over there, plenty of hostility, and for any New Zealand team going over there it's an exciting time, so we're looking forward to it."
The first match is at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday before the two sides clash in Canberra on Dec. 6 and finish the series in Melbourne on Dec. 9.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford)