Tim Southee 'was right for our environment' - New Zealand coach Gary Stead

Fast bowler was preferred as Test captain over Tom Latham, who has stood in for Kane Williamson in the past

Tim Southee during a training session ahead of the semi-final, New Zealand vs Pakistan, Men's T20 World Cup, Sydney, November 8, 2022

Tim Southee has led New Zealand in 22 T20Is and one ODI  •  AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand chose Tim Southee over Tom Latham as Kane Williamson's successor as Test captain because of the fast bowler's "experience" and that he was the "right for our environment now," according to coach Gary Stead.
Southee, 34, was appointed on Thursday after Williamson ended his six-year tenure as Test captain, even though he had never led New Zealand in Test cricket before. Southee's captaincy is limited to limited-overs internationals: 22 T20Is and one ODI.
Latham, on the other hand, led New Zealand in nine Tests when Williamson was unavailable, winning four and losing five. He most recently captained New Zealand to 1-1 draws in home series against Bangladesh and South Africa, and a defeat in the second Test against England at Trent Bridge.
"Look, both are great leaders in our unit and I guess, for us, it's about trying to share the responsibilities around a little bit more," Stead said at a press conference in Lincoln. "Tim was the guy that we felt was right for our environment now. That's taking nothing away from Tom Latham, he's been outstanding in doing that interim job for us, and I'm sure that Tom will take a big place within our team in terms of leadership and possibly the captaincy in some formats if these guys aren't available."
Southee is New Zealand's third highest wicket-taker in Tests - 347 wickets in 88 matches - and only the second fast bowler to be appointed their full-time captain after Harry Cave in 1955. His first assignment will be the two-Test series in Pakistan starting on December 26, New Zealand's first tour to the country since 2003.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said Southee's appointment was a collective decision that had board approval.
When Stead was asked if the decision was close between Southee and Latham, he said: "Well, it's not necessarily about close calls … We've got great leaders and two of them are here, and Tom is another one, and there's others in our team as well. I guess we just discussed all the different options and put them out there. In the end, we felt Tim's experience, and I guess a little bit of a feeling of a bowling position as well is slightly different."
Southee takes over from Williamson, who won 22 of his 40 Tests as captain, giving him the best win percentage (55%) for a New Zealand skipper.
"Umm, not really," Williamson said when asked if he had recommended his replacement to NZC. "I was a part of the conversations, but it's sort of not my place, really. But to share my thoughts, which I've done for a long time, and will continue to do so to try and benefit the environment is important.
"With so many strong leaders, it's about what we want to do with the relationship with Gary, and how they want to see the team move forward in the future. When we sort of broke down what the next period looked like, we thought Tim was the guy."