ENG v NZ 2021: Test series against England ‘amazing opportunity’ to prepare for WTC final, says Tim Southee

New Zealand will play England in two Tests at Lord’s (June 2-6) and Edgbaston (June 10-14).

Tim Southee | GettyVeteran pacer Tim Southee on Friday (May 21) said the upcoming Test series against England is a great opportunity to prepare for the World Test Championship (WTC) final but that New Zealand won't treat them as warm-ups.

The Kane Williamson-led side is due to face India in the WTC final in Southampton from June 18-22. Before the marquee game, the Kiwis will play England in two Tests at Lord’s (June 2-6) and Edgbaston (June 10-14).

See Also: ‘Really excited to be playing India in WTC final, always a fantastic challenge’, says Kane Williamson

“Anytime you get to play a Test match for New Zealand, it's an amazing opportunity and I don't think you treat them as warm-ups. Our focus is first and foremost on the two-match series against England.”

“....but great to have those matches leading to the final. So for us, it's great preparation for that final but we are looking at two-match series against a quality English side in their conditions,” Southee said after his first training session at the Ageas Bowl following a three-day hard quarantine.

According to Southee, three Tests in three weeks won’t be much of a workload after a welcome break for many.

"It's exciting to play three Test matches in a short space of time. It is something that the team doesn't get to do that often. We've come off a bit of a break, which has been nice, and (we have) been able to get some conditioning into our bodies...," he said.

Southee believes that they will be ready to grind with some quality training sessions in the next couple of weeks.

"So, the guys are refreshed in some sort of way, using the next couple of weeks to get ourselves prepared and ready to play three Test matches. They are in quick succession but we have had a chance to prepare physically leading into this with some strength and conditioning stuff.

"Now, it's just getting our loads to a point over the coming weeks so that we can rock on to those three Test matches."

Southee said there will be mixed emotions in their camp when they head to Lord's for the opening Test against England.

Notably, it was the same venue where New Zealand lost the 2019 World Cup final on the basis of boundary count.

"It's tough being emotional and caught up with it, you look at it as an amazing game of cricket, which did wonders for the one day game, from the players that were involved in it.

"It's one of those matches you relive and relive for the rest of your lives. When we turn up at Lord's there will be few guys who will have mixed emotions," he remarked.

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 22 May, 2021

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