LONDON: New Zealand´s Tim Southee will return to the scene of one of his greatest triumphs on Thursday for the first Test against England at Lord´s.
Two years ago, the swing bowler gained a coveted place on the Lord´s honours board with a match haul of 10 for 108, only for New Zealand to suffer a crushing 170-run defeat as they were dismissed for just 68 in their second innings en route to a 2-0 Test series loss.
But Southee was on the winning side in February when his stunning seven-wicket haul set up a crushing victory for the Black Caps over England at Wellington during a World Cup where co-hosts New Zealand made it all the way to the final before losing to Australia.
Now he is aiming to enjoy more red-ball success in what will be the 100th Test between England and New Zealand.
The tourists have won just four of their previous 52 Tests in England.
Since their last visit in 2013, New Zealand have won four and drawn two of their subsequent six Test series but they will go into Thursday´s match with half their squad, including Southee and dynamic captain Brendon McCullum, having only just arrived in England after stints in the Indian Premier League.
“It´s always nice to come back to a ground where you´ve had success. But you start on zero again on Thursday,” said Southee.
With England´s top order having been exposed during their recent third Test defeat by the West Indies in Barbados, the sacking of coach Peter Moores and the installation of a new management team — all against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen´s ongoing international exile — many pundits have forecast a series win for the tourists in this two-match contest.