T20 World Cup: Tim Southee admits, ‘IPL experience paying off for bowlers’

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Tuesday said his team’s bowlers benefitted from the experience of playing in the IPL here just before the T20 World Cup as it helped them gain familiarity with the UAE conditions.

Almost all Kiwi bowlers, including pacers Trent Boult, Southee, Adam Milne, and Kyle Jamieson, and spinner Mitchell Santner, featured in the second leg of the IPL that concluded last month.

“Yeah, I think a number of guys were a part of the IPL here are playing in these conditions, playing not only in these conditions but playing the T20 format can only be a good thing,” Southee said at a press conference ahead of their clash against Scotland, when asked if they had headed to the tournament on the back of good preparation.

The Black Caps recorded a comfortable eight-wicket win over title favourites India in their previous match. The experienced seamer said the speedsters have capitalised on the knowledge acquired in the IPL.

“I think it has helped. As a bowling group, I think all the majority of the bowlers were part, the pace bowlers were part of the IPL. I think we’re taking bits from that, playing on the same surfaces and use that to our knowledge.”

After the loss to Pakistan in their campaign opener, New Zealand strengthened their semifinal chances by registering the morale-boosting win over India on Sunday. They now take on Scotland here on Wednesday followed by matches on Friday and Sunday, all day fixtures.

When asked if they have learnt what they need to about Scotland, a team they don’t face quite often, Southee said: “It’s not only an opposition we don’t know too much about and don’t get to play that often, but it’s also a day game.

“We have our scouting meetings and we have our tactics and meetings over today and try to come up with some plans. I think the beauty of these days is there’s enough footage out there. Scotland obviously have been playing a bit of cricket in the lead-up into this tournament so there’s enough footage out there for us to come up with some plans,” Southee added.

New Zealand won the inaugural World Test Championship earlier this year but Southee said the prospect of being holders of two ICC trophies in the span of three or four months has not been discussed.

“No, definitely not. I think whenever you turn up to a world event, you want to do well. The goal for every side is to go as deep into the tournament as possible and try and win it. So the mindset, when you go into a world event, doesn’t change, but for us it’s about each game as it comes. It’s a tough tournament, a short tournament. You can’t get too far ahead of yourself.

“A strength of ours is we take each game as it comes. Things didn’t go as planned against Pakistan but we were able to learn from it and move on, shift our focus to India. Things went well against India,” he added.