(Reuters) – New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen hailed Tim Southee’s leadership qualities after the fast bowler claimed a five-wicket haul on Friday in his country’s first test against India in Kanpur.
Southee’s was the stand-out performance for the Black Caps as New Zealand bowled India out for 345, with the 32-year-old finishing with five wickets for 69 runs at the end of the first innings.
“He just continues to go from strength-to-strength, really, and that’s a testament to his fitness, his dedication,” said Jurgensen.
“He’s a real leader amongst the team, really positive and the way that he prepares and gets himself ready, he’s positive.
“Cricket is a really mentally challenging game at times and he just finds a way to make everyone have a smile on their face, have good time and at the same time really focus on the job that we have to do as a bowling unit.”
Southee claimed the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jedeja, Wriddhiman Saha and Axar Patel before New Zealand ended the second day’s play on 129 without loss.
The five-wicket haul was the 13th of Southee’s career and Jurgensen felt the performance was one of the bowler’s finest.
“The way that he came out today and really made use of the conditions, got the ball to swing which is really crucial over here and he’s done that for a number of years and had some fantastic performances in India,” he said.
“This was right up there as one of the best.
“He’s always had a fantastic ability to bowl the outswinger over long periods of time which is always going to be a real challenge to any batter.
“Over the years he’s just developed his craft to be able to challenge the batter, challenge both sides of the bat and I think the dismissal of Patel was a fantastic example of the way he set him up.”
(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)