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June 15, 2014
Following his match-winning display on an unresponsive surface at Sabina Park, where he dismissed Chris Gayle twice on the way to match figures of 6 for 51, Tim Southee has jumped three places to fifth in the ICC Test bowling rankings.
Only Dale Steyn, Ryan Harris, Vernon Philander and Mitchell Johnson sit above Southee, who has shown the consistency over the last three years to suggest he belongs in that company, having taken 78 wickets in 17 Test matches at an average of 22.78 since the start of 2012.
The biggest factor in this, he has said, is his patience as a bowler. "The more cricket I've played the more patient I've become," he told New Zealand Herald. "When you're young, you want take wickets every time you bowl. The reality is it's not going to happen.
"Test cricket is tough. You work [through] spells to try and pick up wickets and you may not get it in the first spell but when you come back and keep applying pressure the rewards will come.
"One thing I've learned is if the wickets aren't coming, don't go looking for them. Especially on wickets like this [in the West Indies]. Patience is going to be massive."
Southee credited the planning done behind the scenes for the success the New Zealand bowlers enjoyed in the Jamaica Test.
"We have a raw and young bowling attack and it's an exciting attack to be part of," he said. "We all bounce ideas off each other, throw things around.
"There's a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes. [Bowling coach Shane Bond] Bondy and the bowlers set plans for each batsman and it's pleasing to see them come off and know we are doing the right thing behind closed doors."
The first Test was also the scene of Kemar Roach's return to cricket after more than seven months out with a shoulder injury.
"Jamaica was a tough Test match," Roach told WICB Media. "It was my first Test back after injury. The wicket wasn't really good for fast bowling so you had to work really hard on it.
"It was best to keep line and length on it and pitch up to the batsman as much as possible. I think the bowlers did pretty well. We didn't get the wickets we wanted but we created chances."
Roach seemed to be feeling his way back in during New Zealand's first innings, but sent down encouraging spells during the second innings, in which he had figures of 2 for 12 in 12 overs.
"The first morning I was a bit nervous," he said. "I had a shoulder injury and it was my bowling shoulder so I was a bit tentative at first but then I realised it felt perfect. The first hour back in Test cricket was difficult for me but I came out on top."
The second Test is at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad, a venue with happy memories for Roach, who took ten wickets in the last Test match he played there, against Australia in 2012.
"Coming to Trinidad now, the last Test I played here I performed pretty well against Australia so I'm looking to better that performance or even top it," he said. "I'm just going to go out there put in my best and give it a good shot.
"In Trinidad, the wicket has got better over the years, so it's better for fast bowling. So you've just got to go out there and put the work in, bowl some strong balls in good areas, the batsmen will make mistakes and you will get the wickets."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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