Tim Southee

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee reckoned he does not view their two-match Test series against England as a warm-up ahead of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against India.

The first Test between England and New Zealand kicks off on June 2 at the Lord’s before the teams travel to Birmingham for the second game, starting June 10 at Edgbaston. The Kiwis will then take on India in the WTC Final in Southampton from June 18.

Speaking at a press conference, the veteran fast bowler said that the Blackcaps are currently focused on the upcoming Test series and not the WTC final. With the Kiwis slated to play three games in 20 days, Southee insisted he is not worried about the workload.

“I think anytime you get a chance to play a Test match for New Zealand, it’s an amazing opportunity and it’s something you treasure, so I don’t think you would treat them as warm-ups. It’s a two-match Test series against England and so our focus is first and foremost on those two matches,” said Tim Southee.

“For us, it is great to have those matches in the lead-in to the final that follows on afterwards. It’s great preparation for the final but in saying that, for us, it’s a two-match Test series that we’re really looking forward to, and the quality English opposition in these conditions,” he added.

“It’s exciting to play three Test matches in a short space of time,” he said. “It is something that the team doesn’t get to do that often. We’ve come off a bit of a break, and (we have) been able to get some conditioning into our bodies,” he further stated.

“So the guys are refreshed in some sort of way, using the next couple of weeks to get ourselves prepared and ready to play three Test matches. They are in quick succession but we have had a chance to prepare physically leading into this with some strength and conditioning stuff,” he concluded.

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