Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has lauded Tim Southee’s “superb leadership ability”, saying not many have a cricketing mind like the pacer. Saudi will captain New Zealand in the three-match T20 series against India starting today. Saudi has been named captain after regular skipper Kane Williamson pulled out of the T20I series to focus on Test matches. Under the leadership of Saudi, New Zealand has played 18 T20 Internationals so far, out of which the team has won 12 and lost six.
McCullum, who has been the captain of New Zealand in all formats, said on ‘Saeng Breakfast’, ‘He (Saudi) also has excellent leadership qualities. His presence itself will have a different impact and he is ready to work with the players. They respect his leadership ability and cricketing mind. In terms of cricketing mind, there are very few people who have a cricket mind like Tim Southee.
During the five-match T20 series in January last year, New Zealand lost both the matches against India under the captaincy of Saudi. Head coach Gary Stead also praised Saudi. McCullum, who has scored a total of 14,676 runs in 101 Tests, 260 ODIs and 71 T20 Internationals for New Zealand, said, “He is up to the challenge, which I see as a strong side of leadership ability, which is seen in some coaching structures.” It is also seen as a disturbance. He has always been a great player…he will do a great job.’