Ahead of the three-Test schedule for New Zealand, Tim Southee has expressed his excitement over the fixtures in a short space of time, adding that these are exciting times for the country. He echoed Neil Wagner’s thoughts on the two Tests against England, insisting that they are not warm-ups.
Well before the much-anticipated clash between India and New Zealand in the World Test Championship final, the BlackCaps would face tough opposition, in the form of the hosts, England in a two-match Test series. Both sides walk into the competition on the back of contrasting results, with New Zealand last defeating Pakistan as England lost to India.
However, the conditions would favour the hosts, England, who would be aiming to continue their streak over the visitors. One of New Zealand’s vital bowling cog, Tim Southee admitted that it is exciting to play three Tests in a very short span of time, especially with the final against India around the corner.
"It's exciting to play three Test matches in a short space of time," Southee said in the press conference, reported ESPNCricinfo.
"It is something that the team doesn't get to do that often. We've come off a bit of a break, which has been nice, and (we have) been able to get some conditioning into our bodies, the guys that have come from the IPL and are going to be playing some cricket,” he added.
While India would arrive in England at a later date, New Zealand would have an upper hand, in terms of preparation, given that they would play two Tests against the Three Lions. Southee, however, stated that it is important for the BlackCaps to get their loads to a point where they would sustain the energy levels till the pinnacle clash.
"So the guys are refreshed in some sort of way, using the next couple of weeks to get ourselves prepared and ready to play three Test matches. They are in quick succession but we have had a chance to prepare physically leading into this with some strength and conditioning stuff. Now, it's just getting our loads to a point over the coming weeks so that we can rock on to those three Test matches."
Echoing Neil Wagner’s thoughts, the experienced seamer pointed out that every match for the national team is valuable and can’t really be viewed as a warm-up.
"Nah, I think anytime you get a chance to play a Test match for New Zealand, it's an amazing opportunity and it's something that you treasure, so I don't think you would treat them as warm-ups. It's a two-match Test series against England and so our focus is first and foremost on those two matches against England.”
However, he insisted that the two Tests against England would serve as a great preparation point for the BlackCaps, who aim to go past India, for their first Test trophy.
"For us, it is great to have those matches in the lead-in to the final that follows on afterwards. It's great preparation for the final but in saying that, for us it's a two-match Test series that we're really looking forward to, and the quality English opposition in these conditions."