NZ selectors aware Southee in lean patch

Tim Southee. Photo: Getty Images
Tim Southee. Photo: Getty Images
Tim Southee is certainly not on notice.

But the Black Caps selectors have definitely noticed the strike bowler is not exactly in vintage form.

Since his stunning seven-wicket haul against England at the 2015 World Cup, Southee has averaged about 48 with the ball in one-day cricket.

The right-arm medium-pacer’s average has climbed the best part of six runs and, in his past 10 one-day internationals, he has taken just five wickets at 99.4.

With New Zealand bowling stocks healthier than they have been in some time, Southee’s continued inclusion has surprised some seasoned observers. He has looked very easy to hit in recent matches and tougher opponents lay in wait.

National selector Gavin Larsen said they were aware Southee was in a lean patch but he continued to be an important member of the Black Caps.

"As a selector you are always across the numbers and the numbers form one part of the selection process and conundrum that you often have when you are stacking players up against each other," Larsen said.

"Tim has a brilliant pedigree with us. He is experienced and he takes a key leadership role within our unit.

"We are still taking a deep breath because we’ve still got a good volume of cricket in front of us with five [ODIs] against India and three against Bangladesh. So we’ve still got four months before we have to name this World Cup team."

Larsen said there was plenty of pressure for spots in the team with the "vast majority" of key players fit and "performing really well".

"From a selection stand point no-one is a lock-in for this World Cup. It will boil down ultimately to performances and how we balance up the squad and Tim is part of that puzzle.

"Tim has been the first to admit and has acknowledged that his numbers haven’t been at a level that he would desire.

"But he offers a heck of a lot to our unit. I don’t want that to sound like there is some blind loyalty there because we will be keeping across Tim’s progress very, very closely through this Indian series."

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