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T20 World Cup 2021: Southee wants New Zealand bowlers to adapt quickly to Dubai wicket


New Zealand will need to adjust quickly to the pace of the Dubai wicket if it wants to defeat India when the teams meet in their crucial T20 World Cup 2021 clash on Sunday, bowler Tim Southee said.

The Black Caps lost their opening T20 match against Pakistan on Tuesday by five wickets and face an India side also in need of a win after suffering a defeat in its opener against the same opposition.

“There’s a lot of learnings to be taken from the first game,” said Southee, who claimed his 100th T20 wicket in the loss to Pakistan.

“We weren’t far off against a quality Pakistan side, but we’ve got to park that. We’ve got to look forward.

“It’s such a short tournament and there’s no easy games,” he added.

The New Zealanders will be playing at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium for the first time during the competition while India lost at the same ground in its opener, potentially giving Virat Kohli’s side an advantage.

“In each of the three grounds you play at you have to adapt to all three, they offer different assistances for the seamers, which we saw in Sharjah, the slower balls at the back of a length worked,” said Southee.

“The Dubai wicket tended to have a bit more pace in it and seems to be a better wicket, so we have to adapt to that as quickly as we can,” he added.

Only the top two nations in each of the two groups in the Super 12 phase of the competition advance to the last four. With Pakistan already notching up three convincing wins to top the standings, New Zealand and India are currently in a battle for the second semifinal berth.

“They’re a quality side,” Southee said of India. “They’ve shown that for many years and for them coming off a loss they’ll be wanting to win as well. So it should a great contest (between) two very good sides,” he added.

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