Shane Bond Can't Wait For Trent Boult-Rohit Sharma Battle In WTC Final
Mumbai Indians pacer Trent Boult hailed Rohit Sharma's captaincy. (Photo credit: BCCI)
Mumbai Indians pacer Trent Boult hailed Rohit Sharma's captaincy. (Photo credit: BCCI)

Shane Bond Can’t Wait For Trent Boult-Rohit Sharma Battle In WTC Final

Shane Bond said Rohit Sharma’s approach is quite similar to Matthew Hayden in the way he likes to impose himself against bowling attacks. Shane Bond said he is eagerly waiting to see the battle between Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult in the much-anticipated final in Southampton.

Mumbai Indians’ bowling coach and former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond recalled an interesting banter between Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult, saying the two cricketers were going at each other in the World Test Championship final even during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult
Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult (Courtesy: AFP)

Shane Bond: Even During The IPL, Trent Boult Was Hitting Rohit Sharma On The Pad And Told Him That It Was Going To Happen In The WTC Final

Shane Bond, speaking in a virtual press conference organized by Star Sports, said Trent Boult was hitting Rohit Sharma on the pads and telling him similar things were going to happen in the WTC final when the two players are going to meet each other.

Shane Bond said both the players were aware that they would be turning up against each other in the WTC final, starting June 18 in Southampton, and that he couldn’t wait to see the battle between the two and a few smiles as well.

Shane Bond(Twitter)
Shane Bond(Twitter)

Rohit Sharma will be opening for India for the first time in a Test on England’s soil, while Trent Boult is expected to lead the New Zealand bowling attack in the much-anticipated ICC tournament final. The two players shared the Mumbai Indians dressing room in IPL 2021 before it was suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis on May 4.

“What I do know is that even during the IPL, Trent Boult was running in and swinging the ball and hitting him on the pad and telling him ‘that’s going to happen in the WTC final’,” Shane Bond said.

“They were already talking about it months in advance which was just brilliant. They were very aware, those two, that they were going to come up against each other,” he added.

Trent Boult, who was traded to Mumbai Indians from Delhi Capitals ahead of IPL 2020, proved to be a wonderful addition to the side as he ended up as the third-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2020 with 25 wickets and also MI’s highest wicket-taker in the tournament after Jasprit Bumrah (27).

In IPL 2021, Trent Boult has so far claimed 8 wickets in 7 matches. Rohit Sharma, the skipper of Mumbai Indians was MI’s highest run-scorer in IPL 2021 by amassing 250 runs in 7 games.

Shane Bond Likens Rohit Sharma’s Approach To Matthew Hayden

Meanwhile, New Zealand pacer Shane Bond also said opener Rohit Sharma is a big threat to New Zealand in the WTC final, considering the way in which he likes to dominate the bowling attack. The former Black Caps pacer also likened Rohit Sharma’s approach to that of Matthew Hayden.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma has enjoyed a lot of success since the time he started opening for India in Test cricket. In fact, he is only one of the 6 players who have scored more than 1000 runs in the current cycle of WTC which began in 2019. Shane Bond said he has a few weaknesses which New Zealand can exploit but added that the India opener can trouble Kane Williamson’s side if he gets off to a good start at the Ageas Bowl.

“I love Rohit Sharma as a player. I almost see him as a Matthew Hayden type of player. He goes out, as he did in the series against England on very difficult pitches, and imposes himself. He could come out and score very quick runs.

“He is dynamic and in difficult conditions, like Rishabh Pant, who can take the game away from the opposition very quickly even when New Zealand are bowling with the new ball. With the field up, being a natural stroke maker sort of suits him when the ball is hard.”

“There are obviously some areas in the game that New Zealand can look to exploit, but what he does is score fast. If he can score fast and put runs on the board, that instantly puts pressure on the bowling group.

“I can’t wait for that battle, the Boult-Sharma battle with all the banter that has been going on and I am expecting a few smiles between the boys as well, which will be fun to watch,” Bond added.

Rohit Sharma has amassed 1030 runs in 11 Tests averaging 64.37 in the WTC cycle of 2019-21. The likes of Marnus Labuschagne (1675 runs), Joe Root (1660 runs), Steve Smith (1341 runs), Ben Stokes (1334 runs), Ajinkya Rahane (1094 runs), and Rohit Sharma have managed to score above 1000 runs in the WTC