Tim Southee is one of the best among New Zealand’s current crop of fast bowlers and is pretty much a regular in the national team across all formats. Although he started off as a talented yet erratic pacer in the late 2000s, Southee improved as the years rolled on to become a reliable figure in the Kiwi ranks.
Apart from being a quality seam bowler, the 27-year old can also make a useful contribution with the bat, even though he is highly underrated as a batsman. In the 1st ODI of the ongoing series against India, Southee smashed a 45-ball 55 to lend some respectability to New Zealand’s score after they had been reduced to 106 for 8 by the home side.
However, he is still not recognised as an all-rounder perhaps because his numbers with the bat do not match his true ability. Here are 5 reasons why Tim Southee can still go on to become a world-class all-rounder:
#1 Ability to change the course of a match
In the current series between India and New Zealand, there have been at least three occasions when Tim Southee has displayed his ability to change the course of the match. The first ODI at Dharamsala saw the Kiwi bowler play a scintillating knock of 55 to take his team from 106 for 8 to a total of 190.
The two ODIs that New Zealand have won so far in the series at Delhi and Ranchi respectively have seen a couple of stellar bowling efforts from Southee, too, as he has claimed 3 wickets each on both occasions to set up the victory for his team.
One of his unforgettable match-winning performances came in the 2015 World Cup when his 7 for 33 against England ensured that the match was over even before the Blackcaps came out to bat.
It is imperative for an all-rounder to be able to make a positive impact for his team in a match and Tim Southee looks to be on the right track in this regard.
(Video courtesy: Sooper 22's Cricket YouTube channel)
#2 Aggressive approach towards batting
Some of the best all-rounders over the years have been known for their ability to score at a brisk pace, be it Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Richard Hadlee or even Lance Klusener, for that matter. This trait is something that has always been visible in the way that Tim Southee bats, irrespective of the format he is playing.
A testimony to his aggressive batting style is the fact that he has a Test strike rate of 87.92 and the figure crosses 100 in ODI cricket. Moreover, Southee also has an uncanny knack of clearing the fence on a regular basis and has already hit 58 sixes in 80 Test innings so far.
If the Blackcaps seamer can manage to be a little more consistent in terms of scoring runs, he could well become one of the most dangerous all-rounders in international cricket.
#3 Experience of contributing as a lower-order batsman
In the 8 years that Tim Southee has spent in international cricket so far, he has been making decent batting contributions down the order for New Zealand. The right-hander has 3 half-centuries to his name in the longest format but has also scored quite a few useful 30s and 40s on a number of occasions.
Southee’s Test average of 16.63 certainly does not present an accurate picture of his skills with the bat in hand. However, if he can convert the fine starts that he gets into substantial scores, he will not only add to his importance in the Kiwi side but also prove his credentials as a world-class all-rounder.
Even in limited-overs cricket, things can get better for Tim Southee on the batting front if he can play more knocks like his 45-ball 55 in the 1st ODI of the ongoing series against India.
#4 Brilliant athlete on the field
Tim Southee’s athleticism on the field has been one of his most outstanding features ever since he emerged on the cricketing scene. Despite his lanky 6 foot 4 inch frame, the Kiwi paceman is lightning fast on the field and has held on to some incredible catches in his career.
In an ODI series against England last year, Southee combined with fellow fast bowler Trent Boult to effect a brilliant catch on the boundary line to dismiss Adil Rashid. Perhaps his finest catch, though, came during the 2015 IPL as he took a one-handed catch on the boundary and threw the ball back into play while off-balance so that Karun Nair could complete the catch.
His exceptional fielding skills coupled with his skills with the ball as well as the bat make Tim Southee a complete package.
(Video courtesy: PIYUSH Itspk YouTube channel)
#5 Plenty of time in hand to develop himself
Despite having played international cricket for more than 8 years, Tim Southee is only 27 years old at the moment. The reason behind this is the fact that Southee was just 19 when he played his first international match, a T20I against England in February 2008.
This implies that he still has a lot of time in hand to establish himself as a world-class all-rounder in the years to come. With Tim Southee being New Zealand’s most consistent bowler in recent times after Trent Boult, there is every possibility that he will represent the team regularly, provided he does not get injured.
If he can work on his batting a little more, there is no reason that Southee cannot still develop into a fine all-rounder.