Southee handed shot at test cricket redemption

Heads off Mills to replace Gillespie

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 10:34 13/07/2012
Tim Southee
Reuters
BETTER TIMES: Tim Southee celebrates the dismissal of Ricky Ponting during New Zealand's famous test defeat of Australia at Hobart last summer.

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Tim Southee has been thrown a test cricket life-line, this morning being added to the Black Caps test squad which play the West Indies following the one-day series.

Southee is a predictable replacement for injured Wellingtonian Mark Gillespie who had not sufficiently recovered from an ankle injury and was last week ruled out of the tour.

At the time coach John Wright said Southee and Kyle Mills were fighting for the spot.

Southee was dropped after the first match of the South African series in March as he struggled with form, especially the release of the ball.

He'd taken just seven wickets in the four tests he played last summer at an average of more than 55 before he was replaced by Gillespie.

Gillespie then took 11 wickets in the last two tests adding much needed pace, aggression and penetration to the bowling line-up.

''I just needed to change a couple of things in my action,'' Southee told The Press last month before leaving to the Caribbean.

''It wasn't major, I was just rushing through the crease. I'm more of a rhythm bowler but I was trying to muscle it down so I was losing the bounce I get and the swing and just bowling along the track.''

He was confident he'd sorted his action and release out and was bowling with much more zip.

National selection manager Kim Littlejohn said Southee had earned his spot with his performances in the one-day series which the New Zealanders trail 2-1.

''Tim has impressed with the way he bowled in the one-day series so far and we have seen an improvement from where he was at the end of the home summer.''

Southee has played 17 tests and taken 42 wickets at an average of 44.76.

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