Southee arguably fortunate to make seventh T20 World Cup

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

That is how some might assess Tim Southee’s inclusion in the Black Caps T20 World Cup squad.

The veteran right-armer is New Zealand’s leading wicket-taker in the format.

In 123 matches for his country, he has nabbed 157 wickets at an average of 23.15. They are impressive credentials.

But this will be Southee’s seventh T20 World Cup, and he was arguably fortunate to make the 15-strong squad.

Ben Sears, who was named as a travelling reserve, and Canterbury’s Will O’Rourke have edged ahead of Southee in the minds of some observers.

Southee represents a safe choice, though. The 35-year-old has clocked more T20 games for New Zealand than any other player and that experience is valuable.

"[The game] is forever changing. Even in the last few weeks in India it has changed again," he said in reference to some high-scoring IPL games.

"You have to change as a bowler ... and move with the times. If you don’t, you get left behind."

Or worse — clubbed. It is a game designed for the batters. The bats are big, the boundaries are shorter but the margin for error, as far as the bowler is concerned, has only got smaller.

Southee has been on the losing end of that equation plenty. Finding a way to bounce back is half the battle.

He is hopeful the conditions they will find in the West Indies will help balance the contest between bat and ball.

"The grounds aren’t big but the wickets, especially later on in the tournament, I imagine would slow down and hopefully offer a little bit of assistance for the bowlers."

The Black Caps have named a very experienced squad. Southee is in the overwhelming majority who are on the wrong side of 30.

"The guys are wanting to do their best. We’ve come close in the T20 format. We made a final two World Cups ago and a semifinal last time around. A number of guys experienced that and a number of guys have had experience in World Cups."

Southee’s bowling partnership with Trent Boult has been productive throughout the years and Black Caps might be tempted to lean that way again with the new ball, although Matt Henry, having forced his way into the squad, is another new-ball option.

"If you look at the whole bowling unit ... we’ve played a lot of T20 cricket together. So it is always good to know those guys and know what they are capable of.

"But [Henry] has been phenomenal at one-day cricket for a long period of time, and in the last 12 to 18 months in the test game he has shown his quality. And in the last wee while he has also shown that in the T20 side."

New Zealand open their campaign against Afghanistan in Georgetown on June 7.