Black Caps veteran Tim Southee returns to happy English hunting ground

Tim Southee dismisses England wicketkeeper Matt Prior at Lord’s in 2013, one of 10 wickets he captured in the match. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Tim Southee jokes the Black Caps’ new wave have it easy compared to the side’s senior pros.

Test wins were few and far between in his early days of international cricket in a New Zealand team, renowned for inconsistency.

Debuting as a 19-year-old in 2008, he won just one of his first 14 tests and had to wait seven tests to taste victory – a home win over Bangladesh two years later.

Seeing the Black Caps rise to No.1 in the world test rankings (they are now second) for the first time and a World Test Championship final looming against India (in Southampton from June 18-22), the senior paceman is justifiably proud of his side’s journey.

They have won nine of their last 11 test series, including a 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka, and are unbeaten in their last six matches.

“Ross [Taylor] and I quite often laugh about it because it took so long to have those wins. Guys are coming in and Kyle [Jamieson] has won six test matches already and hasn’t lost a test match,” Southee told Stuff.

“The guys who come in have been able to make that step up from domestic cricket to international cricket and I think that’s part of the environment, they’re comfortable.

“I think you’re getting a good group of guys coming through and a core group of guys that have been there for a while now that have learned from those earlier days when things weren’t so successful.”

Southee and the second group of the Black Caps’ New Zealand-based test squad depart for England on Monday. After completing quarantine, they will start preparing for the two test series against England, beginning at Lord’s on June 2.

This will be Southee’s fourth tour of duty as a test player to England, having previously travelled there in 2008 (his first away series), and 2013 and 2015.


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