T20 World Cup 2021: Tim Southee expects ‘great contest’ between India and New Zealand

New Zealand eyes comeback against India | Getty Images

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Friday (October 29) said that he is expecting a great contest between the Black Caps and Indian cricket team at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday, October 31, at Dubai International Stadium.

He also pointed out that both India and New Zealand would be desperate to outsmart each other on Sunday since both teams are coming off losses in their respective opening games against Pakistan in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Southee said after a practice session on Friday, “They (India) are a quality side. They have shown that for many years and for them as well coming off a loss, they will be eager to win as well. So, it should be a great contest against two very good sides.”

He further added, “It’s always tight in the first game. We went far off against a quality Pakistan side but we need to look forward in such a short tournament. There are no easy games so it’s now about focus shifting towards India.”

Meanwhile, Southee claimed his 100th T20 wicket during New Zealand’s 5-wicket loss to Pakistan in their T20 World Cup 2021 opener. On his milestone, the Kiwi bowler said: “It’s nice when you play for a while and get a milestone. Not many people have done it so far with T20 not being around for too long.”

The veteran pacer continued, “Not only T20 but all three formats. It’s a challenge to juggle all three formats and to be able to do that for a long period of time is pretty satisfying. Looking at ways to keep improving your game, adapt to different conditions, different formats is something I have looked to do over the years. Hopefully, there are many more years to come.”

Southee also stressed on adapting to the conditions and wickets as New Zealand is all set to play its first match in Dubai in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

He signed off by saying, “We knew coming here is different to how we play in New Zealand. So, you have to adapt to those conditions, you also have to adapt to all three grounds as well. They offer different assistance for the seamers. We saw in Sharjah slower balls and back of the length worked. In Dubai, the wicket has little more pace in it and seems to be a better wicket.”