A desperate Trent Boult says he's on track to realise a dream by playing in New Zealand's first Boxing Day Test at the MCG in over 30 years.
Boult hit the nets at the MCG on Wednesday as he attempts to prove he's recovered from the side strain which kept him out of the first Test against Australia in Perth.
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The 30-year-old got through his session unscathed and is now eyeing off some solid spells in a warm-up match against a Victorian XI later this week to show he's ready to return for the Black Caps.
Boult wasn't even born the last time New Zealand faced Australia in a Boxing Day Test in 1987 and the left-armer is eager to experience the atmosphere of a packed first morning at the MCG.
"I want to really embrace it and appreciate that stage for what it is," Boult said.
"Test cricket is my favourite format. This is the stage that a lot of people dream of being on so to get this opportunity in my career, it's definitely something that I'm looking forward to.
"If I can tick all the right boxes with my body and get myself fit, then I can't wait to get out there."
Boult's return will be a timely one for the tourists, who had to battle through stifling conditions in Perth a bowler down after Lockie Ferguson's calf injury on the first day of his Test debut.
Uncapped quick Kyle Jamieson has been called up in place of Ferguson but New Zealand coach Gary Stead will be hoping Boult can restore the Kiwis pace attack to full strength alongside Tim Southee and Neil Wagner.
"It's nice to have that extra seven or eight days before it happens," Boult said.
"I'll just be using it as best I can.
"We've got a warm-up game in a couple of days time, it'd be nice to get some cricket but I'll be making the call as late as I can really."