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New Zealand have the best bowling attack for a while, reckons Shane Jurgensen

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New Zealand's bowlers were brilliant in England this summer


New Zealand have the best bowling attack for a while, reckons Shane Jurgensen

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SportsCafe Desk


New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen has hailed the Kiwi bowling attack that comprises of Southee, Boult, Wagner, and Jamieson as the best in the world. Senior Kiwi pacer Tim Southee also feels that the present attack is like never seen before in New Zealand cricket given the depth.

The month of June from 2021 will always have a special place in the history of New Zealand cricket. They first beat England in an away Test series after a gap of 22 years and then clinched the inaugural World Test Championship title. And it would never have been possible sans their quality bowling attack. It came out with all guns blazing against India in Southampton and launched a relentless attack on their batters that proved too hot to handle for them.

Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Kyle Jamieson form one of the best and feared bowling attacks in world cricket. New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, in fact, rates them as the best bowling attack in the world. He added that the WTC Final wasn't a fluke and such performances have been happening for a while now.

"I think so. I've been thinking that [New Zealand have the best attack] for a while. So it's just me and my role and belief in these bowlers; what they bring to us as a team and the challenges they have overseas. But, I think they are and we can probably strongly say that right now - this hasn't been a fluke and it has been happening for a long time. As I said, the belief in the bowling group - how they plan, how fit they are, how strong they are and how much they believe in each other. The trust is amazing and we got four or five bowlers in the final, but all do different things," said Shane Jurgensen, reported ESPNCricinfo.

He lavished praise on all the bowlers. Jurgensen complimented Jamieson for his ability to swing at pace, Southee and Boult's new-ball brilliance, Neil Wagner's versatility and Colin de Grandhomme's accuracy. 

"Kyle's height and accuracy, to be able to swing it both ways at good pace. Tim's accuracy, new-ball execution - unbelievable. He can adapt to use the crease - over and around - to left-handers and right-handers. We know Trent's ability with the new ball, but he took wickets with the old ball; he's been doing that for a while, so it's nothing new for me and the team. 

"We know that Neil [Wagner] makes people uncomfortable on the back foot and the front foot with the lengths he bowls, but he's now getting guys out like Trent. So, he's building up a different skillset to be able to swing the ball both ways and seam it. Colin [de Grandhomme] is 125 [kph] and accurate; he bowls higher than 125, so it's got to be up there… it's got to be the best for me and they are proving it."

One of the stars from the WTC Final and senior paceman, Tim Southee also outlined that never in the history of New Zealand they have had such a special bowling attack and lauded the depth. 

"I guess you look at New Zealand history, you've had periods where you've had one or two good bowlers, obviously Richard Hadlee, and then Dan Vettori doing his thing, sort of chipped in with the likes of Chris Martin and a number of other guys along the way, but I guess in terms of having the four of us in one time is pretty special," Southee said. 

He further added that having the current bowling attack is a 'once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience' for New Zealand cricket.

"Not only the four of us but also the work de Grandhomme does in and around the pace bowlers as well, and also Matt Henry has chipped in during that England series as well, so I think just to have four of us, three of us with an excess of 200 Test wickets, is pretty special, and probably a once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience for New Zealand cricket."

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