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Kiwi paceman Boult ruled out of Test

NZN 23/11/2016

Fast bowler Trent Boult is in doubt for New Zealand's three-match ODI tour of Australia after being ruled out of the second Test against Pakistan in Hamilton with a knee injury.

Boult, who felt discomfort in his right knee during training on Wednesday, has been replaced in the squad for the Test starting on Friday by Doug Bracewell.

Coach Mike Hesson says irritation to the knee joint has been niggling left-arm strike bowler Boult since New Zealand's tour of India.

The 27-year-old's workload had been carefully managed in recent weeks but he aggravated the injury when slipping in the field late in New Zealand's eight-wicket first Test win in Christchurch last week.

Hesson says he is "hopeful" Boult will be available for the three-match Chappell-Hadlee Trophy one-day international series in Australia starting next Sunday.

Boult was sharp in spells during the Christchurch Test, taking match figures of 5-76 in helpful conditions, lifting his career tally to 173 scalps.

Existing squad member Matt Henry, who has an unflattering Test bowling average of 55.37, will be favoured to start his seventh Test in Boult's place.

The other possibility is installing fellow right-armer Doug Bracewell, whose 27th Test was in the heavy loss to South Africa in Centurion three months ago.

Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and allrounder Colin de Grandhomme were the other Black Caps seamers used in Christchurch.

Meanwhile, Kiwi wicketkeeper BJ Watling is playing down the significance of winning the toss with the prospect of another green pitch.

In the first Test in Christchurch, the Kane Williamson-skippered Black Caps had the tourists on the back foot from the start, dismissing them for 133 in their first innings before going on to win by eight wickets.

However, Watling believes it was the Black Caps' bowling more than the helpful pitch that paved the way to victory at Hagley Oval.

"I think we bowled in really good areas and asked a lot of questions," he said.

"Those conditions are obviously different to them but we were able to put Pakistan under a lot of pressure with the ball."

The 31-year-old is expecting the world's second-best Test team to be far more competitive at Seddon Park.

Seaming conditions play to the strength of both teams, the gloveman said.

"Their bowlers are really good bowlers and conditions like these can suit them," he said.

"They would have learned from that first Test and will adjust their lengths accordingly."

The Black Caps batsmen are also looking to step up after an average first innings performance in the South Island.

They capitulated for 200, with only opener Jeet Raval (55) surpassing 30 in his debut Test knock.

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