Tim Southee
Tim Southee. Image Credits: Twitter

Tim Southee becomes the second-highest wicket-taker in Tests for New Zealand. Southee is now, New Zealand’s second-highest wicket-taker in Test history behind Sir Richard Hadlee (431) with 362 Test scalps. Southee (706) now has the most international wickets for a New Zealander. He also surpassed Vettori for most wickets across all three international formats (706).

Sri Lanka seems to be Tim Southee‘s favourite opponent, against whom he has 56 wickets in 10 Tests. After winning the toss and  Southee elected to bowl first, the green surface prompted New Zealand to recall fast bowler Blair Tickner, with Will Young dropping out of the XI in the only change from their historic one-run over England.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team Credits: Twitter

At the end of  Day 1 Sri Lanka is 305-6, with Kusal Mendis scoring a terrific knock of 87 runs before being dismissed by New Zealand skipper Tim Southee. Southee was the best bowler for the Kiwis picking up the important wickets of Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal.

Earlier during the 2nd test against England, Tim Southee equalled MS Dhoni in the list for most sixes in Test cricket-78. He has 1898 runs in 92 Tests with a strike rate of 81.66. Tim Southee is renowned for being a valuable big hitter in the lower order. In the second test match against England, Tim Southee-led side became the second team in 146 years of history of test cricket to win the game by 1 run margin.

We Have Got Plenty To Play Over Next Two Weeks- Tim Southee

The Kiwi side is already out of the race for WTC Final 2023, after being positioned at the 8th spot in WTC 2021-23 points table. New Zealand won the inaugural edition of the WTC final in 2021 by beating India at Southampton. Speaking to the media, Tim Southee shared his views on the series ahead of the first match that it will be not easy for the visiting side.

It has been great to have the number of people who have been talking about Test cricket, to see the Basin Reserve filled for five days was great to be a part of, It is a match that will be talked about for a long time, but they are a very humble group. Now our focus will shift to Sri Lanka, We are obviously out of the Test Championship, and they have got plenty to play for over the next two weeks,” he further added.

Unlike the Blackcaps, the visitors are still in contention for the World Test Championship,  Sri Lanka will need to beat the reigning test champion New Zealand in their yard 2-0 to have a chance of playing in June’s final at The Oval.