With covers on, it may offer more swing: Southee

PTI, Dec 2, 2021, 6:26 PM IST

Mumbai: The drop in temperature and the covers being put on for longer periods of time can aid swing bowling, feels New Zealand’s senior pacer Tim Southee, who had troubled the Indian batters even on an unresponsive Green Park track in the previous game.

While Southee didn’t give a definitive answer but it seemed that conditions in Mumbai warrant Neil Wagner’s presence in the playing XI for the second Test at Wankhede.

Asked how much of a help it will be for the pacers with pitch under cover due to heavy rain, Southee said: “That’s something we don’t know too much about. We’ll have to wait to know about it till we are up there.

“That’s something we have to adapt to. You try and assess the conditions as quickly as you can. With the covers on, it may offer more swing but who knows,” he said.

He said that his team would need to adapt to the Wankhede wicket and also keep in mind that one needs to assess how it will behave for a prolomged period.

“I guess, the wicket has been under covers for a while now. We have to see how that shapes up tomorrow. Hopefully Gary and Kane have a look at the wicket later this afternoon. It’s a different challenge but we also have to factor in how the wicket would behave for the next five-six days. We have to adapt to it,” he added.

Southee however dead-batted the Neil Wagner question.

“Yes, those are the decision Kane and Gary will have to make in the next 24 hours. They will try and get a look at the wicket in the afternoon and make a decision considering the rain and the weather around,” he quipped.

The New Zealand middle-order isn’t exactly among the runs but Southee backed them to come good.

“I don’t think so (that the middle order form is a concern). It can be tough in this part of the world to start. It’s not easy to start in these conditions. Ross Taylor is experienced. A lot of guys haven’t played in these conditions. All are quality players and have shown that they can perform here,” he defended.

However one thing that every Black Caps player would be proud of is their fight against top quality spinners.

“The guys knew spin was going to play a big role in this part of the world, everyone’s preparation was different. They (the tail-enders) showed a lot of courage in the first Test.

“It’s a quality spin attack that India have and we know we have to be on top of our game in the coming week,” Southee said.

However, Southee feels that the Mumbai Test would be a new challenge for the Kiwis.

“We can gain a lot out of our efforts in Kanpur. As a side, we know that the last week had already happened, and we are looking forward to new challenge in Mumbai.”

“Last Test was exciting with all three results possible towards the end of day five. It was great for Test cricket and also for the belief in our side to be able to hang on over there. But it’s going to be a new challenge over the coming five days,” the right-arm speedster added.

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