Tim Southee is 101 T20I appearances old. The right-arm seamer, who made his debut way back in 2008 has been an integral part of New Zealand’s bowling revolution. So much so, his partnership with Trent Boult has become an indispensable part of the BlackCaps cricketing history, with 125 wickets, the most in T20I history.
While so many players have come and gone since he made his debut, Southee insisted that the key for any player is always evolve. In not, they will get left behind, given the rapid pace at which the game is evolving.
“Yeah, I think I guess if you're going to last a long time in the game, you have to change with the times, and I think the game is ever changing. Batters are discovering new shots, hitting different areas, and bowlers are trying to stay ahead, as well. I think, yeah, just trying to learn new skills,” Southee said on T20s evolution.
“But I think just the experience that you have and have banked over the years, as well, helps. But yeah, certainly having to change with the game because it does move at such a quick rate, and if you don't move with it, then I guess you get left behind,” he added.
Daryl Mitchell was a doubt to start the tournament but two games into New Zealand’s campaign, the all-rounder is fit and available for selection. Southee reckoned that Mark Chapman, who has got his opportunities due to Mitchell’s absence, will be unlucky to miss out.
“Yeah, it's unlucky, I guess, for Mark Chapman, who hasn't really done anything wrong, but I think the way that Daryl -- he's a valuable member of the side and he's done well for us, so yeah, now that he's fit and ready, he just comes back in. He'll slot back in there,” Southee reckoned.
On the tournament’s format and upsets, Southee insisted that it is the name of the game, calling T20 a really cut-throat format.
“We know that we have to be on our toes in every single game we play. The nature of this tournament, you can't really afford to have too many slip-ups. Yeah, T20 cricket, I think it brings the sides closer together, and we've seen throughout this tournament a number of upsets already,” he added.
Looking ahead to the encounter against Sri Lanka, Southee revealed that the team is preparing well, and are adept at facing the spin challenge posed by the Asian side.
“Yeah, we know Sri Lanka is a dangerous side. They always pose a big threat, and spin has been a massive part of their game and a strength of theirs.
“Yeah, unsure how this wicket will play. Our guys have faced plenty of spin and plenty of good spinners over the years, as well, so yeah, should be a good game,” he finished it off.