Tim Southee acknowledged that India are a quality side and have shown that for many years now, ahead of New Zealand’s crucial Super 12s fixture at the T20 World Cup 2021. Having lost to Pakistan in their respective opening matches, the two teams will face off in Dubai on Sunday, October 31.
Both India and New Zealand didn’t have the best of starts to their respective T20 World Cup 2021 campaigns. While India went down to Pakistan by 10 wickets in Dubai on Sunday, New Zealand were undone by the same opponents two days later in Sharjah.
The two teams, who had faced-off in the World Test Championship final earlier this year, will take on each other at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Despite India being outplayed by their subcontinent rivals in their opening fixture, Tim Southee labelled the Virat Kohli-led team as a “quality side”, as he looked forward to a crucial Super 12s match.
“They (India) are a quality side. They have shown that for many years and for them as well coming off a loss, they will be eager to win as well. So, it should be a great contest against two very good sides,” Southee said after a practice session on Friday.
“It’s always tight in the first game. We went far off against a quality Pakistan side but we need to look forward in such a short tournament. There are no easy games so it’s now about focus shifting towards India.”
Southee further reflected on the varied conditions offered by the three venues - Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai - in the competition.
“We knew coming here is different to how we play in New Zealand. So, you have to adapt to those conditions, you also have to adapt to all three grounds as well,” he said.
“They offer different assistance for the seamers. We saw in Sharjah slower balls and back of the length worked. In Dubai, the wicket has little more pace in it and seems to be a better wicket.”
Southee had become the third bowler to 100 T20I wickets on Tuesday, when he’d dismissed Pakistan skipper Babar Azam. It was a feat matched by Rashid Khan three days later, who became the fastest to the milestone in just his 53rd outing.
“It’s nice when you play for a while and get a milestone,” he said. “Not many people have done it so far with T20 not being around for too long.
“Not only T20, but all three formats. It’s a challenge to juggle all three formats and to be able to do that for a long period of time is pretty satisfying.
“Looking at ways to keep improving your game, adapt to different conditions, different formats is something I have looked to do over the years. Hopefully there are many more years to come.”