Updated: May 21, 2021 18:12 IST
Southampton [UK], May 21 (ANI): New Zealand pacer Tim Southee won’t be treating the two Tests against England as warm-ups for the World Test Championship (WTC) final but he admitted that the upcoming games will help the Kiwis in preparing for the summit clash against India.
New Zealand will play two Tests against England before they take on India in the WTC final on June 18.
“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,” he further said.
“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,” Southee opined.
England and New Zealand are set to lock horns in two Tests, beginning June 2. Southee is “excited” to play three Tests in such a short space of time.
“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.
Talking about the preparation of his side before the UK tour, Southee said: “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,” he added.
The New Zealand players will lock horns in an intrasquad three-day practice match in Southampton, where the WTC final will be played between the Kiwis and India later in June.
“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. (ANI)