Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee has announced that he has learnt a lot of lessons the hard way throughout his Test career.
Southee’s comments come after he achieved his career-best ranking of fifth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Bowlers rankings.
“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.”
While patience is one of the reasons why Southee had a lot of success during the first Test against the West Indies in Jamaica, he also revealed that the national team’s preparations paid dividends as well.
“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.”
Meanwhile, West Indies pace bowler Kemar Roach stated that the hosts bowled well, but just didn’t get the wickets they deserved.
“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, who had been out of action for seven months prior to the first Test, showed positive signs during the second innings, where he posted figures of 2-12 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.”
Trinidad, which will host the second Test, seems to have a special place in Roach’s heart, especially since he took 10 wickets the last time he played there against Australia in April 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.”