NZ vs SL: Tim Southee happy to be back on home soil

After touring the UAE, New Zealand is looking forward to the green, green grass of home when it hosts two Tests against Sri Lanka.

Tim Southee admits "there's a bit of excitement and a spring in the step for the fast bowlers."   -  Getty Images

Tim Southee is looking forward to seam-friendly conditions in Wellington after toiling away on low and slow pitches in the United Arab Emirates.

New Zealand returns to home action against Sri Lanka on Friday after securing a memorable 2-1 Test series victory over Pakistan, the Black Caps winning the decider by 123 runs. The spinners dominated across the three games, with William Somerville and Ajaz Patel the leading wicket-takers for the tourist.

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A home series against Sri Lanka offers more opportunities for the seamers, though, with Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner having had little assistance in the UAE. "It's back to familiar conditions, and somewhere that we've played very good cricket for a number of years now," Southee told reporters.

'Spring in the step'

"It's nice to come back to conditions that we're used to. We've come from a place that wasn't easy, especially for pace bowlers. There's a bit of excitement and a spring in the step for the fast bowlers anyway."

But Southee knows the bowlers may have to work hard for their rewards at Basin Reserve. He added: "It's nice to see some grass on the wicket but we don't know what it's going to play like until we get out there. You can get in and it can be a batting paradise as well.

"We've seen in the past at the Basin, that if you can get in, it's also a very good wicket to bat on. I don't think the guys will get too carried away. We've come from the UAE where there's not a lot of grass on the wicket, but here also can be very good for batting. We're going to have to be on top of our game.

"I remember a couple of years ago Bangladesh scored 500-odd here. It's a strength of our side not to get carried away with conditions. We don't know what it's going to be like when we get out there. We'll try and assess the conditions as quick as we can."

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