‘For us to finally To win a major ICC event was great’

Whatever format he plays, the skill on view elevates the level of the contest.

Tim Southee has it all — the run-up, the load-up and the release blending as one, exemplary seam position, two-way swing and seam movement, subtle changes in length and speed, probing batters’ footwork, exposing chinks and, above all, control.

With over 600 international wickets, 338 of them in Tests, Tim Southee is among the greats of the modern game. In India, Now featuring in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders, the 33-year-old New Zealand seamer answered questions from The Hindu.

Even in T20 cricket, Southee bowls an attacking fuller length, giving the ball a chance to swing. He said, “A pacer has to be attacking, hunting for wickets to slow a team down.”

Southee was practical. “It doesn’t come off all the time. You will have good and bad days but you try to be consistent and adapt as you juggle between formats.”

Asked about Kane Williamson’s leadership, Southee said, “Kane has been phenomenal, both as a leader and a player. It has been a smooth transition from Brendon [McCullum] and what he did to New Zealand cricket.”

He added, “Kane has put his own spin on it and taken the team forward. I have enjoyed playing under Kane.”

Talking about his formidable pace partnership with Trent Boult, Southee spoke about the two having played together from the age-group level, and developing the “trust and understanding from a solid friendship.”

Southee said, “We both swing the ball, he is left-arm, I am right-arm. It is never easy for the batters.”

Amazing feeling

On New Zealand triumphing in the World Test Championship in 2021, Southee said, “To play India in the final in England was special in itself. For us to come out on top was an amazing feeling.”

He said, “We have been involved in the 2015 and 2019 ODI World Cup finals. For us to finally win a major ICC event was great. New Zealand is a small sports-loving nation and the whole country was behind us.”

And New Zealand produces champions such as Southee.

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