The New Zealand Test side has not had the best of times ever since winning the inaugural ICC Test Championship last year at Lord's. They have won just 2 out of their 8 Tests in the current 2021-23 cycle. And are languishing at number 7 ahead of England, who have already claimed the ongoing 3-match series 2-0.
Ahead of the third and final Test at Leeds, Kiwi fast bowler Trent Boult said that skipper Kane Williamson was disappointed to miss out on a crucial game at Nottingham due to covid-19.
"He's a big player for us. His record speaks for itself, everyone's healthy and available for selection. It looks like another good wicket, so we'll see what happens."
He's [Williamson] always hungry to get in the nets. He was disappointed to have to sit out the last game. It was a big game for us. He's hungry to get out there to lead the side and desperate to get some runs. I know the boys are looking forward to the challenge. There have been some good chats going on off the ground. Hopefully we can let the bat do the talking and we'll go from there," Boult said.
The left-arm pacer also praised former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, now England's Test head coach, for instilling a new mindset and approach in the Ben Stokes-led XI.
"They are playing like I thought he [McCullum] told them to. It's a new change for English cricket. What a start, both games so far have been thrillers really. For Test cricket as a whole, hopefully we see many more games like that, and get many more eyes watching," Boult added.
He also went on to talk about how New Zealand are feeling ahead of the Leeds encounter.
"I suppose it's hard being 2-0 down in the series. But there's a lot of pride in that changing room from some of the performances we've put out over the last few years. If we're fair we probably haven't been at the standards we want to be as a group, it's nice to have one game to go out and play like we know we can," Boult explained.
The third Test begins on June 23, where New Zealand look to salvage some pride and keep their hopes of defending their Test mace alive in the final at Lord's in 2023.