What is it with Tim Southee?
With talent to burn, the twenty-three year old could discover that he has a career on his hands that is positively teeming with adulation for many a year to come.
Yet, instead of making the most of his ability, he appears more intent on becoming a self-appointed verbal gangster for the Black Caps as he constantly sledges his way through bowling spells while interspersing this by sending down balls so wayward that instead of paddling their way into that famed corridor of uncertainty and detonating on opposing batsmen with lethal accuracy, they – and his mouth - both end up squirting out nothing more than minute doses of insignificant puffery that embarrassingly fail to hit the mark.
Like all gangsters, he is only as big and tough as he’s allowed to be in his current environment until someone with more ammunition enters the fray.
And that person came along in the form of Richard Levi. A hulking, powerfully built character, the South African responded to Southee’s childish antics by belting the Northlander over the fence on consecutive balls on his way to an outstanding century during last week’s second 20/20 encounter. And still the young New Zealander kept up the verbal barrage. Go figure.
Fort Knox would have presented more viable attacking options for any would be foe than what Southee’s bowling did to the health and safety of Levi’s wicket that night.
Not only did this oral diatribe fail as it fell on deaf ears, his bowling wasn’t up to much either. Maybe if he took the novel approach of concentrating on the task at hand (getting the batsman out, Timothy, by the bye) he might present more of a threat to opponents.
And, really, how many greats of the fine art of bowling have resorted to wasting extra breathe on discussing the intricacies of life with batsmen?
Certainly the great Richard Hadlee didn’t. Why not, you ask. Well, it’s simple, really. You see, throughout his test career, the great man had this method of taking a wicket every twenty-two deliveries. Something Southee has yet to master, it must be said.
Now, let’s be fair; Hadlee was one of the best in the history of the game.
Talent became him. Disdain for mediocrity was his constant companion as he methodically set about dismantling the techniques of the world’s best batsmen. No one is expecting Southee to emulate Paddles, just set out to take the same approach. There could be no better way of putting a halt to the wicked ways of a batsman than to send that little sphere hurtling into middle stump.
This means that he would be required to let his actions do his talking.
Now there’s an idea.