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Got to shift focus on challenge of playing India in India: Southee

 
Jaipur, Nov 16 (IANS) New Zealand skipper Tim Southee wishes for his team to shift its focus from the loss in the final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup to the three-match T20I series against India, starting from Wednesday.

He added that the international cricket calender needs a re-look, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Southee will be captaining New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson, who will be focusing on the two-match Test series which comes after the T20Is.

"Guys are disappointed. We played some pretty good cricket throughout the T20 World Cup and are disappointed to have not won the other night. But we got to shift our focus on this series and the new challenge of playing India in India. We will have to adapt slightly to the conditions here in India," said Southee in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

Southee called Williamson's absence from the T20Is a 'big miss'. "Kane's a big miss for this side. He's a quality player. It is an opportunity for someone else to come in and fill for him. It is always exciting, the challenge and honour to captain New Zealand. Anytime you play cricket in India is always a special occasion."

Talking about the cramped schedule, Southee remarked, "It's obviously a pretty busy schedule. We knew that this was going to be the case into the T20 World Cup. We had series in Bangladesh and Pakistan with some guys in the IPL. What's happened in the last couple of years has made scheduling lot tougher. Guys had to do quarantine and what not. Logistically, it's been bit of a challenge. But as players, you just got to have a crack on and play what's in front.

"What's happened in the world in the last couple of years has made things a lot tougher. With bubbles, quarantine and it does takes a toll after a while. We don't know what's gonna happen in the future. Whether we are going to continue to play in bubbles and schedules having the pressure more on with quarantine time as well. It's something we can't control. We have to adapt to and get used to. But it does take a toll.

"I know of players who have been in the bubble for a long period of time. Hopefully, we don't have to deal with bubbles for too much long."

Southee, who has captained New Zealand in 18 T20Is, mentioned that workload management could be given a look in the T20I series. Apart from him, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner will be a part of the Test series as well.

"I guess it's something we have to look at throughout the series. Three games in five days with travel days in between and then a couple of days before going into Test series. I think the guys will be managed throughout the series. But we have got a squad of fifteen here and were involved with the T20 World Cup, which I am sure will be used throughout the T20 series."

He signed off by saying that representing the country keeps him going amidst tight schedule.

"It's busy. We really haven't got the chance to stop and think. With the final in Dubai, things just sort of finished there. But we got to shift our focus on this series and onto the Tests. Representing your country is a big honour. That's what keeps me up and gets me going."

--IANS

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