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Swing is what Tim Southee relies on

I gave up worrying about speed a while ago: Tim Southee
Tim Southee (centre) is congratulated by teammates after dismissing India's Prithvi Shaw in Wellington on Friday
Tim Southee (centre) is congratulated by teammates after dismissing India's Prithvi Shaw in Wellington on Friday

PTI   |   Wellington   |   Published 22.02.20, 08:18 PM

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee believes that Rishabh Pant’s freak run out went a long way in changing the course of India’s first innings that eventually folded up for 165 in the opening Test here on Saturday.

Pant, who started the day with a six in the first over, suffered because of Ajinkya Rahane’s poor call and India lost five wickets for 33 runs from that point. He scored 19 off 53 balls.


Rahane himself fell to Southee as he inside-edged to the ’keeper, trying to shoulder arms as late inward movement led to his undoing.

Asked if there was any strategy to dismiss Rahane, Southee replied: “No, the run out of Pant was big this morning. With him (Pant) being such a dangerous player and leading into that second new ball, he could have scored quickly along with Jinks (Rahane).”

Southee knew that Rahane had no option but to attack once Pant was dismissed. “We knew though if we could open one end up with the bowlers, then Jinks would look to play a little bit more aggressively, which brings us into play a little more.

“The way we bowled this morning was pretty good — to come off and finish the Indian batting line-up like that with two dangerous players in this morning,” said Southee, who picked four wickets.

Southee has never been an out and out fast bowler and at this stage of his career, he relies on his ability to move the ball both in the air and off the pitch.

“Well, I probably gave up worrying about speed a while ago, so I guess you’ve got to rely on other skills, like swing. And I guess there was a little bit of swing out there.

“Not been as windy as it was yesterday (Friday), so us as a bowling unit, we tried to expose that swing when we got it and there was a little bit there,” said Southee.

He, however, reckoned that New Zealand losing one wicket less on Day II would have been a better effort.

“You always want to be one wicket less than what you’ve lost.

“But saying that, if we can carry on tomorrow morning, get a couple of partnerships together and try and build that lead, then it will be nice going into the second innings.”

There was some turn on offer for Ravichandran Ashwin and that surprised Southee, who hasn’t seen pitches at the Basin Reserve offer turn on Day II.

“There is a little bit of spin. You don’t usually see that on Day II at the Basin. That’s why the first innings becomes important.

“If we can build those partnerships and eke out as big a lead as we possibly can, then I guess that makes the second innings a little bit easier.

I’m not sure how the wicket’s going to play over the next few days.”

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