New Zealand vs India: Kane Williamson backs Tim Southee ahead of the T20I series

New Zealand vs India: Kane Williamson backs Tim Southee ahead of the T20I series

Southee played only one ODI in the recently concluded series and isn't the force he once used to be.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

He has been one of New Zealand’s most experienced bowlers but did not get to play the final four matches in the recently held five-game series against India. Their captain Kane Williamson has come out in support of Tim Southee saying the veteran bowler is still not a spent force in white-ball cricket despite his recent exclusion from the side. The 30-year-old right-arm fast bowler has 480 international wickets in a career spanning over a decade.

New Zealand will take on India in a three-match T20I series starting Wednesday in Wellington. The hosts were beaten comprehensively by a margin of 1-4 in the ODIs recently and will look to deny India their maiden victory in a bilateral T20I series in the Kiwi nation.

Southee played in only the first ODI against India in Napier in which he failed to take a wicket. The Northern Districts bowler last took a five-wicket haul in international cricket against Sri Lanka in a Test match in Wellington. “We’ve had a number of guys getting some good game time in that Indian series, where Tim had played a huge amount of cricket,” Kane Williamson said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the 1st T20I.

He’s a massive part of our side

“He’s a massive part of our side, a leader in the group. It’s one of those things. It’s unfortunate on one hand, but I think for the collective it’s a really positive thing that a number of guys are getting opportunities to have those experiences against a fantastic Indian side.”

Southee, who has 64 wickets in 55 T20Is, lost his place to the likes of Lockie Fergusson, Colin de Grandhomme and Doug Bracewell in recent times. The absence of Trent Boult, with whom he had regularly opened bowling once for the Black Caps, in the T20I series could give Southee a chance to be in Black Caps’ World Cup squad.

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