Tim Southee Plays Down Underdone Kiwi Fears

02nd November 2015

Brisbane: New Zealand's preparations for the Test series opener against Australia have been "as good as it gets", paceman Tim Southee said on Sunday, despite their final tour warm-up farce. (Read more cricket stories here)

The Black Caps were forced to hastily organise training sessions in Brisbane for Sunday after their three-tour match with a Cricket Australia XI was abandoned a day early because of a deteriorating pitch in Sydney on Saturday.

Cricket Australia officials said the pitch was unfit for the Kiwis to bat on, although Australian coach Darren Lehmann queried that the pitch "couldn't have been that bad" if CA XI had made 503 for one declared.

New Zealand arrived in Brisbane a day earlier than expected due to the tour match debacle.

But Southee tried to allay concerns that New Zealand would be short of match practice as they seek their first Test series win in Australia for 30 years.

Asked if they were under-prepared for Thursday's Gabba Test, Southee told reporters: "Not at all.

"We had a hit out in first-class cricket coming over, we had a good few days in Canberra and got some great facilities here (Brisbane).

"The match situation is not there but in terms of facilities and competition at training this is as good as it gets.

"The guys are very appreciative of Cricket Australia and the facilities that they have managed to get up and running in short notice."

Lehmann tried not to be drawn on the weekend pitch fiasco but admitted the scoreboard indicated there were no dramas for batsmen.

Ryan Carters and Aaron Finch hammered double centuries in CA XI's massive total before play was abandoned.

"It is a tough one, having not seen it. If you are not there you can't really judge it," Lehmann said of the cracking Blacktown pitch.

"They were 1-500 so it couldn't have been that bad but I wasn't there.

"It would have been nice for the game to keep playing, you've still got to give everyone the best opportunity to play."

Southee said New Zealand looked forward to seeing how they measured up on the bouncy Gabba deck.

Australia have not lost a Gabba Test since 1988.

But the much-improved Black Caps will be backing themselves after losing only three of their past 17 Tests over two years.

"But one of the strengths of the side is that we don't get too far ahead of ourselves, we know it is going to be a hard series," Southee said.

"We haven't had a lot of success at the Gabba but nor have a lot of touring sides.

"It is always a tough way to start the tour but there is no reason why we can't achieve what we want."

With excerpts from:http://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/news/251087-tim-southee-plays-down-underdone-kiwi-fears

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