Tim Southee defends New Zealand players picking IPL 2024 over Pakistan tour

Veteran pacer Tim Southee stated that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will benefit New Zealand players for the upcoming Test series in India. Tim Southee emphasized that the ongoing prestigious tournament will aid players in acclimatizing to challenging subcontinental climates.

Tim Southee, absent from IPL 2024, is utilizing the off-season to strategize for the three-match Test series against India in October. New Zealand has never won a Test series in India. Southee’s absence from the IPL allows him to focus solely on preparation for the pivotal series.

New Zealand, the inaugural champions, couldn’t retain their ICC World Test Championship title in 2023, finishing in the bottom half of the standings. The New Zealand team currently holds the third position in the ongoing WTC 2023-25 cycle, trailing behind India and Australia.

The Black Caps will aim to secure their first-ever Test series victory on Indian soil. They will play two Test matches in Sri Lanka in September, providing some exposure to subcontinental conditions. However, the conditions in India pose a distinct challenge compared to Sri Lanka.

IPL Has Been Massive For Cricket – Tim Southee

Speaking to The Telegraph, Tim Southee emphasized the IPL’s immense impact on cricket globally, particularly in familiarizing players with subcontinental conditions.

“I guess players from around the world are able to experience playing in subcontinent conditions and particularly Indian conditions when they go and play the IPL. I think the IPL has been massive for cricket in general,” Southee told The Telegraph.

Eight New Zealand cricketers are participating in IPL 2024 – Devon Conway (Chennai Super Kings), Daryl Mitchell (CSK), Rachin Ravindra (CSK), Mitchell Santner (CSK), Kane Williamson (Gujarat Titans), Lockie Ferguson (Royal Challengers Bengaluru), Trent Boult (Rajasthan Royals), and Glenn Phillips (Sunrisers Hyderabad).

Devon Conway, nursing a thumb injury, did not join the Chennai squad and is expected to be ruled out of the initial phase of the tournament.

Talented Cricketers Coming Through India – Tim Southee

Tim Southee highlighted the advantages of exposure gained by teams in the recent ODI World Cup. He emphasized the emergence of talented cricketers in India and the valuable experience gained by players in the IPL. 

“I think you’re seeing the talented cricketers coming through India. There’s always guys just having breakout years, youngsters having the opportunity to play alongside overseas players, overseas players getting the chance to play alongside other overseas players you never thought you’d play with… Gaining the experience of playing in India.

“We saw its utility through the ODI World Cup. Sides which had a number of guys that have had a number of years in the IPL benefited from their experiences in those conditions. It’s a good thing for people to be able to gain those experiences in that part of the world.”

New Zealand faces a formidable challenge in India, with extreme heat, spin-friendly pitches, and reverse swing posing significant obstacles for the team. The upcoming away series will be critical for the Tim Southee-led team to solidify their place for the final of the WTC cycle.

Also read: Watch: Lasith Malinga turns back the clock as he hits the wickets with a single stump to aim at

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