I am confident that Tim Southee is capable of making some very good contributions to Middlesex’s Twenty20 campaign. Not only is he an excellent bowler, but he can clear the boundary and has been pushed up the order on a few occasions for this purpose. We are likely to have batting capability right down the order, although we will have to see whether we can arrest our tendency to slow down once we are two or three wickets down.
I had the impression that we were keen to have Mitchell McClenaghan back (until reading otherwise on Cricinfo last week
), but I imagine Daniel Vettori decided otherwise. I think Vettori is likely to be responsible for many decisions regarding our Twenty20 campaign. At the AGM, it was said that the reason why Brendon McCullum will captain us when he is available, with Dawid Malan being relegated to vice-captain, is because Vettori feels that we could get off to a better start with McCullum as captain due to him entering the tournament having not played any other format, which will not be the case with Malan. This will also enable Vettori to perform more work with McCullum prior to the tournament than he could have performed with Malan. This makes lot of sense. The Vettori connection means it isn’t the greatest of shocks that we have signed a New Zealander!
We will have to see whether Southee will improve our on-field performances or put bums on seats, but another purpose of signing him is that it means we don’t have to select the same fast bowlers all the time, which is very helpful for keeping those bowlers fit.