Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Cricket: Southee takes severe illness in his stride

Tim Southee celebrates taking the wicket of Mohammad Ashraful against Bangladesh on Saturday. Photo / AP
Tim Southee celebrates taking the wicket of Mohammad Ashraful against Bangladesh on Saturday. Photo / AP

Tim Southee is making the subcontinent a second cricketing home despite vomiting for what he estimates to be 30 hours before New Zealand's opening World T20 match.

The 23-year-old recovered from the worst stomach bug he's experienced to take three wickets for 16, the best figures of the New Zealand bowlers, in the win over Bangladesh.

It reinforced a strong return to the side in the test format where he secured seven wickets for 64 runs, the sixth best bowling figures by a New Zealander, in the second test loss to India this month in Bangalore.

Before that, patchy form had seen him discarded at test level in what he describes as a disappointing home summer against South Africa. He was also in and out of the test team against the West Indies and India.

It is Southee's sixth tour with New Zealand to the subcontinent. He's also spent time with Stephen Fleming's Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

"We play a lot of cricket here these days," Southee says. "You get used to it and realise it's not a bad place to come. The first few trips weren't great but you learn how to bowl in different conditions."

That change is evident in his performances. For example, in the 2010 tours to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India, Southee played six ODIs and took six wickets at 40.66 apiece. At the World Cup last year he took 18 wickets at 17.33, finishing as the third highest wicket-taker at the tournament.

Southee attributes some of his success to getting a better grasp of reverse swing. However, there's a concern the Pallekele wicket, where New Zealand will play any future World T20 matches up until the semifinals, is not offering much assistance.

Still, at least Southee is back on the field. And he was pleased he opted to go to hospital.

"First of all I was like 'hospital in Sri Lanka? I wonder what that's going to be like?' But it was really nice, a bit like a hotel room."

Andrew Alderson flew to the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka courtesy of Emirates Airline (www.emirates.com/nz).

- NZ Herald

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