New Zealand’s bowling coach heaps praise on Tim Southee

Southee’s newest variation baffled Rohit Sharma

After the thrilling performance by New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship final against India, The Kiwi’s Bowling coach has heaped praise on Tim Southee’s excellent performance. 

In a media interview with ESPN Cricinfo, Shane Jurgensen said that there’s a lot more to Southee’s methodology. He argues that Southee is about that old three-card trick-outswing, outswing, and the one that goes the opposite direction. Except it is not just the “one” that goes the other way, but 3 different ways of delivering a ball that moves into the right-hander. 

He continues by saying the second innings wickets of India’s opener in the WTC final were both lbw, playing for non-existent outswing, but the balls that dismissed them were entirely different. 

Southee’s first victim, Shubman Gill, was a result of Southee’s well-known three-quarter seam ball, which is delivered with the seam scrambled and moves into the right-hander off the pitch. 

However, Rohit Sharma was bamboozled by something that hasn’t been seen all too often. Southee didn’t play his traditional inswinger. The ball to Rohit had the seam canted towards slip like it is for an outswinger, but the ball was flipped around, so its rough side was facing the leg side. This was the 27th over of India’s innings. Further, he says that unlike Southee’s attempts at bowling the genuine inswinger, that ball came out at normal speed. 

The Black Cap’s bowling coach says that it is possible that Rohit saw the seam position and judged the ball to be leaving him, and he decided to shoulder arms. But, instead, it veered in towards the stumps and struck Rohit’s front pad. 

Reportedly, the Dukes ball used in England strikes considerably different from the Kookaburra used in New Zealand. The Dukes ball moves more in the air and off the pitch. This, in effect, helped Southee attempt an inswinger on this tour. 

Jurgensen adds that Southee came up with this new variation during New Zealand’s camp in Lincoln before they left for England. He further states, “I actually think that wicket of getting Rohit out was a long time of Tim trying a few things and always trying to improve. I think that goes for every bowler in our group, and I think that’s really stood out more in the last two years. It has always happened, but I really think it really started in our camps in May at Lincoln, when he was playing around with a bit of an inswinger, and it was good.”

He concluded his interview by saying that Southee is always looking to improve and admits the right-arm swing bowler has been an outstanding performer for New Zealand for a long time.

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