ICC WTC FINALS: Tim Southee says, ‘World Test Championship finals will be special, India clash in England is unusual’

ICC WTC FINALS: New Zealand's Tim Southee says, ‘World Test Championship finals will be special, India clash in England is unusual'
ICC WTC FINALS: New Zealand's Tim Southee says, ‘World Test Championship finals will be special, India clash in England is unusual'

ICC WTC FINALS: In a little over a month, Virat Kohli-led Team India will take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the ICC World Test Championship Final in Southampton, starting June 18. The Test match being the first of its kind finale in Test cricket, there has been much anticipation amongst players and fans. New Zealand paceman Tim Southee, who went unsold in the IPL 2021 auctions, got a much-needed break while some of his teammates headed to the UK directly from India. But he is not immune to the excitement around ICC WTC Final.

The 32-year-old bowler, who captained the Black Caps’ T20I side in the Bangladesh series in absence of injured Kane Williamson, said the ICC WTC Final will be special. He also called the Test final unusual as it will be played in a neutral venue in England instead of New Zealand or India.

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ICC WTC FINALS: While Tim Southee also plays limited-overs cricket, some Indian players such as Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav, who only plays Test cricket internationally, the ICC WTC Final will be similar to a World Cup final.

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“Some of them have not even played in cricket World Cups, it will mean like a CWC to most of them. For someone like Ishant Sharma, to get to the WTC final will mean the world. I read somewhere he called WTC the World Cup final for himself, it makes absolute sense and I am so happy for him,” Ashwin said after the Test series against England. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav also echoed similar sentiments.

ICC WTC FINALS: As for Tim Southee, who has been in and out of New Zealand’s ODI squad due to injuries and workload management, said he wants to continue playing all three formats with a target of playing in the 2023 50-over World Cup in India. If he does play the World Cup, it will be his fourth.

Also Read: ICC WTC Final: Arzan Nagwaswalla wants to emulate Jasprit Bumrah’s solo training method in maiden India call up

Tim Southee also drew inspiration from England’s James Anderson, who is 38. The pacer has focused on Test cricket and has played consistently well, prolonging his career.

“As long as you’re still able to perform and reach those high standards it takes to represent your country then I think age is only a number. You look at the likes of James Anderson who is 38. He’s still arguably bowling as good as he ever has,” Southee added.

As for his own Test career, Southee aims to play 100 Tests like four other Kiwis in the past including current teammate Ross Taylor.

“To play one test match was amazing, but if you can reach that milestone it would be nice and something that would be pretty special. It’s one match at a time as it is. I love playing for this team and it’s an absolute dream to play for New Zealand. Any time you get to do it, it’s pretty special,” he said.

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