We felt Tim Southee was right for our environment now: New Zealand coach Gary Stead
The Kiwis announced earlier on Thursday that Southee was taking over from Kane Williamson as New Zealand Test captain and the fast bowler’s first assignment as skipper will come in Pakistan over the New Year.
Auckland [New Zealand], December 15 (ANI): New Zealand head coach Gary Stead believers Tim Southee was chosen as Kane Williamson’s successor for Test captaincy over Tom Latham because of his “experience” and he was “perfect for our situation now.”
Southee, 34, was appointed on Thursday when Williamson’s six-year reign as Test captain ended, despite having never led New Zealand in a Test match previously. Southee’s captaincy has been restricted to limited-overs internationals 22 T20Is and one ODI.
Southee, who has 346 internationals to his name and has led the T20 side on 22 occasions, will become New Zealand’s 31st Test captain when he leads the team on this month’s Test tour to Pakistan.
Canterbury opener Latham has been confirmed as Test vice-captain, after previously leading the side in Williamson’s absence.
When Williamson was unavailable, Latham led New Zealand in nine Tests, winning four and losing five. He most recently led New Zealand to 1-1 draws against Bangladesh and South Africa at home, as well as a defeat in the second Test against England at Trent Bridge.
“Look, both are great leaders in our unit and I guess, for us, it’s about trying to share the responsibilities around a little bit more,” Stead said at a press conference in Lincoln.
“Tim was the guy that we felt was right for our environment now. That’s taking nothing away from Tom Latham, he’s been outstanding in doing that interim job for us, and I’m sure that Tom will take a big place within our team in terms of leadership and possibly the captaincy in some formats if these guys aren’t available,” he further added.
Southee is New Zealand’s third-highest Test wicket-taker (347 in 88 matches) and only the second fast bowler to be named full-time captain after Harry Cave in 1955. His first job will be a two-Test series in Pakistan, which will begin on December 26 and will be New Zealand’s first visit to the country since 2003.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said Southee’s selection was a board-approved collective decision.
When Stead was asked if the decision was close between Southee and Latham, he said: “Well, it’s not necessarily about close calls … We’ve got great leaders and two of them are here, and Tom is another one, and there’s others in our team as well. I guess we just discussed all the different options and put them out there. In the end, we felt Tim’s experience, and I guess a little bit of a feeling of a bowling position as well is slightly different.” (ANI)