Lucknow Super Giants Mayank Yadav.

Lucknow Super Giants Mayank Yadav.
| Photo Credit: PTI

Not many pace bowlers have had the honour of leading their countries in Test cricket. It took Australia 144 years to appoint a pacer as a regular captain.

Last month, it was another speedster that walked along with Pat Cummins for the toss in the Test series in New Zealand. Tim Southee, who has been a magnificent servant of NZ cricket ever since making his debut as 19-year-old in 2008, is enjoying the experience.

“I enjoy thinking about the game and it can also be challenging at times,” Southee told The Hindu on Friday. “And I have been lucky to have in the side Kane Williamson and Tom Latham, two guys that have both captained.”

New Zealand is placed third on the ICC’s Test Championship table and will take on the top-ranking India later in the year. “We know it is a tough place to go and play, and India is so strong at home,” said the swing bowler who has 380 Test wickets. “The conditions can be challenging, but it is a place that we are looking forward to going to.”

Southee is impressed that India is now producing pacers consistently. And yes, he has had a look at the videos of India’s latest sensation Mayank Yadav, whose extreme pace has caught the world’s attention.

“The thing that is very pleasing that comes with his pace is his control,” he said. “A lot of guys that have the out-and-out raw pace don’t always have the control. He looks to have control as well as pace, and I think we have seen in the couple of games he has played, he has had a big impact. I am looking forward to following his progress through not only the rest of this IPL, but further on as well.”

Trent Boult, with whom he has forged one of cricket’s most enduring and successful new-ball partnerships, also continues to make an impact at the IPL. “Sometimes the white ball doesn’t swing for too long, but he really maximises those first few balls where you do get a little bit of movement,” he said. “I think Boult has a little bit of movement and his numbers in the first over are incredible.”

Sony Sports Network has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights of New Zealand Cricket for seven years.


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