Thirty-two years after New Zealand last played a Boxing Day Test in Australia, Trent Boult gave them the perfect return to a very special stage in Melbourne.
Boult had sat out of the first Test as he recovered from a rib injury and the absence of the pace bowler was acutely felt in New Zealand’s 296-run loss in Perth. He took just four balls to make his mark on comeback in the second Test in Melbourne.
Captain Kane Williamson made the brave call to bowl first, with his seamers expected to make the most of the movement on offer. And, taking the new ball, Boult sent it down full while immediately getting a bit of shape.
The fourth ball, to Joe Burns, was fast, full and straight. Nipping back in, it found the gap between bat and pad to send the stumps rattling.
Watch the wicket below.
Unreal start from Trent Boult!pic.twitter.com/ieL1IAId33
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 25, 2019
That wasn’t all: Marnus Labuschagne was welcomed with balls that beat the edge, with the first over setting the tone for an exciting first session.
A packed MCG – according to reports there was record attendance for a non-Ashes Boxing Day Test in recent years – was treated to some fine bowling with all of Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner giving the batsmen plenty to think about.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 26, 2019