Northern Districts wicketkeeper Tim Seifert doing whatever his team needs him to

Northern Districts wicketkeeper Tim Seifert says being adaptable is crucial.
MARK TAYLOR/FAIRFAX NZ

Northern Districts wicketkeeper Tim Seifert says being adaptable is crucial.

Tim Seifert can go fast and he can go slow.

It just depends on what his team needs, and what colour the ball is.

The Northern Districts wicketkeeper is nearing the end of his second full season of domestic cricket, and has been one of the side's more consistent performers with the bat in the Plunket Shield, which continues on Tuesday when ND host Wellington at Bay Oval in Mt Maunganui.

All told, the 22-year-old has played 19 first-class matches, averaging 31.18 with one century and six 50s to his name - solid numbers, especially for a wicketkeeper, but ones that leave plenty of room for improvement.

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His highest score this season has been 97, made while opening against Otago two weeks ago in Whangarei, but his most impressive performances came before Christmas in Napier against Central Districts, when he made just 35 and 29, but off 147 and 99 balls respectively, helping ND secure a valuable draw.

Seifert batted for five minutes shy of five hours in that match, and it was an eye-opening performance, coming from a guy best known for his potential as an explosive hitter in limited overs cricket.

"I think that's one of the things that I've been trying to develop in my game," he said. 

"If you look at a lot of the world-class players, they're good at all three formats, so it's just about going in there and reading the situation when I'm batting. Sometimes you can go out there with freedom and play like you do in white-ball cricket, but in that situation I just had to dig deep and get the draw.

"That's what's best for the team, and whatever the team needs, you try to go out there and do that job. It was pretty exciting batting for that long, the body was a bit sore afterwards, but it's really satisfying, knowing you can play that positive game, and that you can bat time as well."

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Seifert has been a wicketkeeper since he was at intermediate school, and works closely with former first-class cricketer Jason Mills and former Black Cap Gareth Hopkins as he tries to hone his craft.

"[Hopkins] was probably unlucky to not play more games for NZ when he was playing, so to be able to read his mind has been awesome," said Seifert.

"Also having BJ Watling around the group - when he's around I always sit down with him and we have a good chat. It's about picking the brains of other people and learning from the best."

Watling may have a lock on the gloves for the Black Caps in tests at present, but the limited overs role is certainly up for grabs.

Tom Blundell played one Twenty20 against Bangladesh in January, but hasn't featured since, despite Luke Ronchi's well-publicised and extended struggles, which suggests the selectors are still looking for someone in the domestic ranks to put their hand up and demand selection.

Aside from Blundell (26) and Seifert, Dane Cleaver (25), Cam Fletcher (24), Ben Horne (23) and Glenn Phillips (20) are the other young keepers plying their trade in domestic cricket.

Seifert was involved with New Zealand Cricket's winter training programme in Christchruch last year and has been invited back this year, but he's not getting ahead of himself.

"You've just got to do what you do on the field, and if greater things come from that, that's great. But you don't want to look too far ahead as a player because then you can get caught up in other things.

"I'm still 22 now, so I'm still pretty young, and I'll just chip away and talk to the senior players and learn off them, and try to develop every game and do well every game."

AT A GLANCE

Northern Districts squad to play Wellington: Corey Anderson (c), James Baker, Dean Brownlie, Henry Cooper, Nick Kelly, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Bharat Popli, Brett Randell, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Joe Walker (one to be omitted)

 - Stuff

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