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Southee works on batting in bid to cement Test spot

ESPNcricinfo staff

June 15, 2012

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Tim Southee takes a break during New Zealand's nets session, Colombo, March 28, 2011
Tim Southee: "It's not a nice feeling being left out. It's been a kick up the backside for me." © Associated Press
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New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee, who failed to make the Test squad for the upcoming Caribbean tour, has said that he has been using the off-season to work on his batting, in a bid to cement his place in the Test side in the future.

Southee, 23, played in South Africa's last Test series, in March against South Africa, but was dropped after conceding 140 runs for no wicket in the first Test. He said that being dropped from the side was an eye opener. "It's not a nice feeling being left out. It's been a kick up the backside for me," Southee told Fairfax News.

He said that he hoped to contribute as an allrounder in future and that he worked with New Zealand batting mentor Bob Carter to improve his batting. "I have to go out and score some runs. It's something that I've wanted to work on and now having a few months off, it would have been a waste not to do some work on it.

"For me, if we can get our bowlers scoring runs, then that's got to be a good thing for New Zealand cricket and I want to be a part of that; to contribute with the bat as well as with the ball and not make so many silly decisions when I bat."

Southee, who has scored 485 runs from 17 Tests at an average of 20.20, said that he hoped New Zealand's lower order could emulate that of England and score runs regularly. "Hopefully we're making progress," he said. "It makes it tough as a bowler, when you know the opposition's tail isn't just going to fold."

New Zealand's seamers will head to Brisbane on Saturday for a stint with head coach John Wright before joining the rest of the side heading to the West Indies via Florida at the end of the month.

Southee said that he had worked on his action as well, in the lead up to the limited-overs leg of the Caribbean tour. "I just needed to change a couple of things in my action," he said. "It wasn't major, I was just rushing through the crease. I'm more of a rhythm bowler but I was trying to muscle it down, so I was losing the bounce I get and the swing."

New Zealand will play two Twenty20 internationals, five ODIs and two Test matches during the five week tour.

Edited by Carlyle Laurie

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by HadleeCrowe on (June 17, 2012, 16:24 GMT)

Ipl contract comment cynical but possibly correct..... We need him to concentrate on his bowling ....... WHite lightning reckoned he would be one of the top swing bowlers in the world ....

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (June 16, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

youfoundme is wrong! we do need our tail to stand up with the bat, simple fact is we don't have the AB Devilliers and Alister Cooks of the world in our team so we need guys to be able to hang around as long as they can, its ok if you're Shane Bond but does Chris Martin, Brent Arnel, Mark Gellispie and the likes have the genuine quality with the ball to justify how poor they are with the bat and in the feild for that matter, im excited by Neil Wagner's inclusion a genuine strike bowler who can hold a bat combined with Doug Bracewells allround skills Vettori's prowess with the bat we could be very annoying for opposition attacks, southee needs work but he's got the right idea.

Posted by GasPipe on (June 16, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

Good to see Southee working hard to get back in. I don't mind him working on his bowling as long as his bowling doesn't suffer. I agree with Fluid36, he has become predictable and he will need to increase his variety with the ball. However he is one of my favourite players to watch when in form, and I wish him all the best.

Posted by youfoundme on (June 16, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

We don't need our bowlers to stand up at the crease, that's what our batsmen go out there for. There's nothing wrong with going out and having a good old slog, in fact, it's very entertaining after watching 4-6 hours of dribble batting (or from a New Zealand followers perspective, 1 hour). Southee should focus on his bowling, we all know what he can do when he gets it right. Otherwise he'll end up going down the same path as James Franklin, forever trying to force his way into the side.

Posted by   on (June 15, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Yes, Southee is really doing a clever thing. He has natural talent as a bowler, and he has to nurture it. But at the same time if he works on his batting, he will add on versatility, and can easily qualify as batting all-rounder. Besides him, Mark Gillespie, Neil Wagner and Doug Bracewell can also contribute a plenty with their bat, and should follow the footsteps of Southee.

Posted by avidhoni183 on (June 15, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Southee scored a rapid fire 77* of 40 balls including 9 sixes he can bat .he was a big hitter of the ball .Wish him for future he has a lot of career left in him.

Posted by satish619chandar on (June 15, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

His batting is not the reason for his exit from national team.. A very good entry into the team followed by some average performances lead him to this case.. When the team expects you to be a king with ball, better work on that alone and leave batting to dust.. There are guys who are working on it.. He is going the Irfan way without losing pace..

Posted by Fluid36 on (June 15, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

It is good to hear Southee admitting that he has made silly mistakes in his batting, he is someone who scored 70 odd on debut and then got a big head after also taking a few wickets. I'd also like to see him develop an inswinger and also up his pace a bit as 135k is a bit average. It's important for our national team that he develops as he has become a bit predictable and his test stats reflect that

Posted by   on (June 15, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

I'd prefer if he just worked on his bowling at this stage.

Posted by Vijayendra on (June 15, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

No, he's hunting for a better IPL contract as the auctions are up next year.

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