Southee has ‘spring in the step’ ahead of Sri Lanka Tests


New Zealand seamer Tim Southee said he and the rest of the Black Caps’ pace bowlers have a “spring in the step” ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting in Wellington on Saturday.

The Kiwis’ pacemen had to toil on unresponsive pitches on the recent tour to the UAE against Pakistan and Southee is glad to be back in home comforts.

The Black Caps will be hosting the Sri Lanka side for two Tests, three ODIs and a one-off T20 on a tour that will go on until early next month.

Southee said: “It’s back to familiar conditions, and somewhere that we’ve played very good cricket for a number of years now.

“It’s nice to come back to conditions that we’re used to. We’ve come from a place that wasn’t easy, especially for pace bowlers.

“There’s a bit of excitement and a spring in the step for the fast bowlers anyway.”

While there is the expected to be grass on the Basin Reserve pitch, Southee cautioned that pace bowlers won’t necessarily rule the Test.

Batsman have in the past thrived in Wellington if they got themselves in.

Southee said: “We’ve seen in the past at the Basin, that if you can get in, it’s also a very good wicket to bat on,” Southee said. “I don’t think the guys will get too carried away.

“We’ve come from the UAE where there’s not a lot of grass on the wicket, but here also can be very good for batting. We’re going to have to be on top of our game.

“I remember a couple of years ago Bangladesh scored 500-odd here. It’s a strength of our side not to get carried away with conditions. We don’t know what it’s going to be like when we get out there. We’ll try and assess the conditions as quick as we can.”