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Tim Southee – The Kiwi King of Swing

It wasn’t only India that reaped a rich harvest from the Under-19 World Cup in 2008. New Zealand’s team, which lost the closely fought semi-final against the Virat Kohli-led Indians, included Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Corey Anderson and Tim Southee. Of those, Southee was certainly the first to make an impact in the senior ranks, taking 5 wickets for 55 runs and thumping a 40-ball 77 on his Test debut against England in 2008.

He went on to become only the second pace bowler from New Zealand, after the peerless Sir Richard Hadlee, to take 300 Test wickets. New Zealand pressed the reset button after being skittled for 45 in a Test match in Cape Town in January 2013, and Southee’s accurate swing bowling was a huge part of the revival that culminated in the side being crowned the first World Test Champions in 2021. He played a key role in helping New Zealand reach the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup, taking 8 wickets in seven matches.

Southee has also enjoyed plenty of success in T20Is, though his place in the ODI side has often been usurped by younger, speedier bowlers. In the Indian T20 League, despite all his international pedigree, he has struggled to find a home. A single season in a star-studded Chennai team that won the 2011 title didn’t work out, and a two-year spell with Rajasthan, Mumbai and Bangalore each also failed to showcase his ability.

The fuller lengths that make his swing bowling so effective in home conditions play into the batters’ hands on Asian pitches, where the ball seldom deviates. It’s an adjustment he has often struggled to make. Given a chance by the Kolkata Team in 2021 after Pat Cummins pulled out of the second half of the competition, Southee finally came to make his mark in the most-watched league of all. He was bought back by the franchise once again for a base price of ₹1.50 crores this year.

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Tim Southee’s Personal Details

    • Name
    • :
    • Timothy Grant Southee
    • Date of Birth
    • :
    • 11th December 1988
    • Birthplace
    • :
    • Whangarei, New Zealand
    • Height
    • :
    • 6′3″
    • Playing Role
    • :
    • Bowler
    • Bowling Style
    • :
    • Right-arm medium-fast
    • Major Teams Played For
    • :
    • New Zealand, Chennai team, Rajasthan team, Mumbai team, Bangalore team, Kolkata team

Tim Southee Current Rankings

Tim Southee Career Summary

    • Format
    • M
    • Inn
    • Wickets
    • Best bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Test
    • 85
    • 160
    • 338
    • 7/64 vs IND
    • 28.19
    • 57.20
    • 2.95
    • 18
    • 14
    • 65
    • ODI
    • 143
    • 141
    • 190
    • 7/33 vs ENG
    • 34.51
    • 37.8
    • 5.46
    • 4
    • 3
    • 39
    • T20I
    • 92
    • 90
    • 111
    • 5/18 vs PAK
    • 24.58
    • 17.90
    • 8.19
    • 1
    • 1
    • 47

Tim Southee - Key Skills and Strengths

Southee’s greatest asset has always been his ability to swing the ball at lively pace. On the relatively greener surfaces in New Zealand, he can often be unplayable, combining subtle seam movement with hooping away swing. He has brought the same control to T20Is, where he’s within touching distance of 100 wickets. He also has a reputation as a six hitter, having already thumped 75 of them in his 79 Tests.

Tim Southee’s Captaincy Record

    • Format
    • Matches
    • Won
    • Lost
    • Tie
    • NR
    • ODI
    • 1
    • 0
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
    • T20I
    • 20
    • 12
    • 8
    • 0
    • 0

Tim Southee Awards and Achievements

He played in 2 Under-19 World Cups and even made his T20I debut for the New Zealand cricket team between the two editions, being particularly impressive in the second one by taking 17 wickets. Since making his Test debut later in 2008, Southee has been one of the cornerstones of a side whose steady climb up the rankings culminated in the World Test Championship win in 2021. He and Trent Boult have forged a superb new-ball combination, and he remains a top bowler in T20Is as well.

Here are some of Southee’s biggest records and achievements in international cricket:

  • Only Lasith Malinga (107) and Shakib Al Hasan (106) have more wickets in T20Is than Southee.

  • Only Sir Richard Hadlee (431) and Daniel Vettori (361) have taken more Test wickets for New Zealand.

  • He has been ranked in the top 20 as a Test bowler since 2013.

  • He was named in the ICC Test Team of the Year in 2014.

  • He won the ICC T20 International Performance of the Year in 2011 for his 5 for 18 against Pakistan at Auckland in December 2010.

  • Southee is one of only 4 bowlers to take 7 wickets in a World Cup match. He took 7-33 against England during the 2015 World Cup.

Tim Southee’s Indian T20 League Journey

Southee has been one of the league’s true nomads. Picked up by Chennai in 2011 – Stephen Fleming, Chennai coach, played his last Test when Southee made his debut – he played only 5 games for them. A 2-year stint with Rajasthan saw only 10 outings, and there were just 14 appearances across his two years with Mumbai. Bangalore played him only 3 times in 2019, after eight matches in 2018. He owes his 2021 spell with Kolkata to Pat Cummins’s withdrawal. With the exception of a decent 2016 season with Mumbai, he has struggled to showcase the quality that has fetched him over 100 T20I wickets. After a satisfactory performance in the UAE last year, he will hope to prove his mettle yet again when he takes to the field for Kolkata this year.

    • Format
    • M
    • Wickets
    • Best bowling
    • Avg
    • SR
    • ER
    • 4W
    • 5W
    • CT
    • Indian T20 League
    • 43
    • 31
    • 3/24 vs Hyderabad
    • 44.77
    • 30.96
    • 8.67
    • 0
    • 0
    • 19

Tim Southee: FAQs

How did Southee catch the eye at the Under-19 World Cup in 2008?

Southee’s 17 wickets in 5 matches in the event came at a scarcely believable average of 6.64.

What made Southee stand out from his peers at that World Cup?

He had already made his T20I debut for New Zealand a fortnight before the Under-19 World Cup began.

When was Southee first noticed by Indian audiences?

In the semi-final of the Under-19 World Cup against Virat Kohli-led India, he took 4 for 29, though India won the match. Three of those he dismissed – Shreevats Goswami, Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja – are still playing in the Indian T20 League.

What is Southee’s nickname?


Which other sport did Southee excel at in school?

Rugby Union. The All Blacks are by far New Zealand’s most popular sports team.

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