Former England spinner Monty Panesar has hand-picked Tim Southee as the most dangerous Kiwi bowler, and believes the right-armer, with his swing, could cause a lot of problems for the Indian batters. Panesar further has opined that the Kiwis boast of a better bowling attack due to their variety.
Since making his debut back in 2008, Tim Southee has earned the reputation of being a swing king, and the right-armer has remarkably gotten better with age. Now 32, Southee has averaged an astonishing 21.85 with the ball since the start of 2018 and, most recently, in the first Test at Lord’s, bamboozled the English batsmen with his swing, finishing with match figures of 7/78.
The right-armer will spearhead the Kiwi attack in a week’s time against India in the WTC Final and much to Virat Kohli & Co’s dismay, Southee boasts of an exceptional record versus India, having taken 39 wickets in 8 Tests at an average of 24.46.
The Indian batsmen are notorious for being not too proficient against swing bowling, and so, thanks to Southee fitting the bill, former England spinner Monty Panesar has singled out the 32-year-old as the biggest threat for team India in the WTC Final. Panesar labelled Southee a clever bowler, and asserted that the right-armer would look to lure the batsmen into drives in an attempt to nick them off at slips.
“Tim Southee will probably be the one,” Panesar told Sports Presenter Dr. Yash Kashikar on Sportzoclock's YouTube Channel.
“In swinging conditions he is quite clever, gets closer to the crease and draws the batsman in by bowling wide of the crease and bowling slightly fuller. And that’s going to be the danger ball for the Indian batsmen. He’s going to lure them into hitting a half-volley into the covers and will look to swing that ball. That would be the ball to watch out for.”
But not just Southee, Panesar described the entire Kiwi pace battery as dangerous and asserted that the quartet of Southee, Jamieson, Wagner and Boult are better than their Indian counterparts. This, according to Panesar, is because of the variety in the New Zealand attack.
“I think New Zealand looks slightly the stronger team, in my opinion. The reason being is because they’ve got variation - a left-armer, a right-armer and a tall bowler in Jamieson. That’s a lot difficult for a batsman to adjust to. I’ll go with New Zealand, for this one,” Panesar said, comparing the two bowling units.
Rohit Sharma turned out to be India’s best batsman in extremely challenging wickets in the home Test series against England, but there are still doubts over the opener’s ability to thrive away from home, particularly in swinging conditions. But despite Rohit’s away averaging reading a mere 27.00, Panesar backed the 34-year-old to do well in both the WTC Final and the subsequent England series.
“We don’t know really, he doesn’t seem to move his feet well. But with the form he’s in, I think he’ll do well. I think Rohit Sharma will do well in England.”