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It's an Amazing Opportunity: Tim Southee Says England Tests Not Warm-Ups for WTC Final

Tim Southee’s ability to swing the ball both ways makes him an asset for New Zealand. Thanks to this ability, he accounted for 14 wickets in two Test series against India earlier this year.

Tim Southee’s ability to swing the ball both ways makes him an asset for New Zealand. Thanks to this ability, he accounted for 14 wickets in two Test series against India earlier this year.

The Kiwis will be playing an intra-squad game at Southampton to prepare for the first Test match at Lord's. Incidentally, they will return to the same venue to take in India at the WTC Final. Southee feels this is going to be an advantage.

Seconding the opinion made by his fellow Kiwi pacer Trent Boult, Tim Southee has said that the two Test match against England won’t be warm-up games as playing for New Zealand every time is always an amazing opportunity. New Zealand are currently in England where they take on the hosts on June 2. This will be followed by the all-important WTC Final.

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“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," said Southee in a virtual press conference.

“It’s a two-match Test series against England and so our focus is first and foremost on those two matches against England. For us, it is great to have those matches in the lead-in to the final that follows on afterward. 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."

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“It’s exciting to play three Test matches in a short space of time. It is something that the team doesn’t get to do that often," said Southee."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.

The Kiwis will be playing an intra-squad game at Southampton to prepare for the first Test match at Lord’s. Incidentally, they will return to the same venue to take in India at the WTC Final. Southee feels this is going to be an advantage.

“It’s nice to be here [Ageas Bowl]. The guys can familiarise themselves. I imagine we’ll probably be in the same room when we come back and it’s nice for guys who haven’t been here to be able to come here and experience it," said Southee.

“And when you come back for the final, you’re a little bit more comfortable having spent some time here and use the facilities and hopefully can get out and make the most of that later in the squad game in the middle," he added.

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first published:May 21, 2021, 20:15 IST