Southee is known for his ability to generate late outswing at a brisk pace, and later with off cutting slower balls almost like a faster off-spinner on a damp wicket and death bowling. He was the third-highest wicket-taker at the 2011 ICC World Cup (18 wickets at 17.33). He also impressed at the 2015 ICC World Cup, taking 7 wickets in a round robin league match against England.
Southee was born in Whangarei, New Zealand, and grew up in Northland. He was educated at Whangarei Boys' High School and King's College, Auckland. While at school he excelled at both cricket and rugby, playing representative rugby for the Auckland Secondary School and Northern Region teams.
He made his first-class cricket debut for Northern Districts on 19 February 2007 at the age of eighteen, having already played an Under-19 ICC World Cup for New Zealand. He lives on a sheep farm in Whangarei with his family.
Southee played under-19 cricket for New Zealand from 2006–2009. His under-19 career included 13 one-day matches – 10 at ICC Under-19 World Cups – and a drawn three-match Youth Test series against India in early 2007. His last youth appearance was at the 2008 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, where he was player of the tournament.
Southee was 17 years old when he debuted in the 2006 ICC Under-19 World Cup on 5 February, against Bangladesh in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He also played against Pakistan, Ireland, the USA and Nepal in that tournament. He ended with 5 wickets at an average of 38.8, and 113 runs at 22.6. New Zealand lost the Plate Final to Nepal.
In 2007 Southee played his only three Youth Tests when New Zealand hosted India. In the second match of the series, which New Zealand won, he took 6–36 and 6–56. He finished the drawn series with 20 wickets at an average of 18.2.
By the time Southee appeared at his second ICC Under-19 World Cup, in Malaysia in 2008, he had already played two full Twenty20 internationals for New Zealand. His bowling saw him named the player of the tournament. He took 5/11 in New Zealand's first match, against Zimbabwe, and went on to take 17 wickets in five matches, averaging only 6.64 and conceding only 2.52 runs an over. Only South Africa's Wayne Parnell took more wickets (18), although he played one more match. Southee's last under-19 appearance was New Zealand's semi-final loss to eventual champions India, a rain-affected match in which he took 4/29.
Within a month, Southee played in his debut test match. The youth squads he played in included other future internationals Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Corey Anderson, Hamish Rutherford, and Hamish Bennett.
Southee began his international career as one of the youngest ever to play for New Zealand. He has become a regular member of the international side in all three formats – Twenty20, one-day internationals, and test matches.
New Zealand's selectors and coaches took great interest in Southee while he was still playing youth cricket. In 2007 national bowling coach Dayle Hadlee took him to India. Hadlee later said that while there Dennis Lillee had compared Southee's talent to that of Glenn McGrath when he was young. Hadlee, brother of New Zealand Cricket Selection Manager Sir Richard Hadlee, also said that he'd been "whispering in Black Caps coach John Bracewell's ear about the possibility of taking Southee on the upcoming tour of England."
While in the selectors' eye Southee took 6/68 in the first innings of a first class match against Auckland in early December (the innings ended on his 19th birthday). Within a fortnight he was picked to play for a New Zealand XI side in a Twenty20 match against a Bangladesh side on 23 December 2007. The game, played at Northern Districts' home ground of Seddon Park in Hamilton, was a charity match for cyclone relief in Bangladesh, and not a full international. Southee bowled three overs and took 1/31.
On 30 January 2008, Southee was named in the New Zealand squad for two Twenty20 International games against England. Selection Manager Sir Richard Hadlee said:
"Why delay producing a player of some talent? Perhaps I could compare him with Brendon McCullum when he started – he had a lot of potential. It might take a lot of time for Tim to find his feet but why wait two or three years when someone is in a special category? The feedback we're getting is that this guy has got it."
Southee's international debut took place two years to the day after he'd first played under-19 cricket for New Zealand, on 5 February 2008 in Auckland. He took 1/38. In the second match, Southee was New Zealand's best bowler with figures of 2/22 from four overs.
Most of the New Zealand squad stayed together for the first three one day matches that followed, but Southee rejoined the national Under-19 team for the 2008 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia.
England were still touring New Zealand when Southee returned home from the 2008 Under-19 World Cup as player of the tournament. The one-day series was over but the three-match test was about to begin. When injury ruled Kyle Mills out of the third Test match, in Napier, Southee was added to the squad and made his Test match debut on 22 March 2008. Aged only 19 years and 102 days, he was New Zealand's seventh-youngest test debutant.
He had an immediate impact in the first day, dismissing Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss in his second and third overs, and then later claiming the wicket of Kevin Pietersen. On the second day he took two more wickets and completed a debut five-wicket haul, finishing with 5–55. During New Zealand's second innings, chasing 553, Southee hit New Zealand's fastest half-century in 29 balls. His innings, which ended on 77* from just 40 balls, included nine sixes and four fours.
Only four other Test cricketers had hit more sixes in an innings – Wally Hammond, Nathan Astle, Matthew Hayden and Wasim Akram.
This was New Zealand's last home match of the summer.
At the end of the 2007–08 season a survey of New Zealand's first class cricketers named Southee the country's most promising cricketer and in April he was awarded one of New Zealand Cricket's 20 player contracts, placing him among the players with "the greatest likely future value to the Black Caps in the next 12 months".
His rise was reflected in his selection for his first full international tour, to England, Ireland and Scotland from May to July. He played a single test match at Lord's, taking 0/59 in a drawn game, and seven one-day internationals (five against England and one each against the other two hosts). In the ODIs he took 16 wickets, averaging 16.93.
In October New Zealand visited Bangladesh to play three ODIs and two tests. Southee only played the ODIs, taking a combined two wickets for 114. Before the tests captain Daniel Vettori said that there was one position in the team for either Iain O'Brien or Southee. The position went to O'Brien.
Through the 2008–09 summer Southee competed for a place in the New Zealand team with more experienced bowlers like Iain O'Brien and Ian Butler. Game-changing performances like the previous summer's five-wicket bags eluded him, though he played 19 matches for his country.
New Zealand's summer began with a short tour to Australia for two test matches. Southee took a combined 5/225 in those matches, going wicketless in the second. Australia won the series easily. Later in the summer New Zealand returned to Australia for five ODIs and a Twenty20 match.
The first inbound tourists of the summer were the West Indies, beginning with a test series for which Southee was dropped. He returned to Northern Districts for the first time since the previous season. The national team picked Southee again for two Twenty20s, across which he took 2/83, and five ODIs (5/180, with two matches being drawn due to rain).
In February 2009 New Zealand visited Australia for a five-match Chappell–Hadlee Trophy ODI series and a single Twenty20. Southee played all the one-day matches but only took three wickets, averaging 84.33. The series was drawn 2–2 and Australia retained the Chappell–Hadlee Trophy. The Twenty20 match, which was a 1-run win to Australia, saw Southee take 1/31.
New Zealand finished the summer hosting India for two Twenty20s, five ODIs and three tests. With Kyle Mills injured Southee played both Twenty20 matches, taking 1/42 and 1/36. New Zealand named a 12-man squad for the first three ODIs with Mills returning alongside Southee and fellow seam bowlers Iain O'Brien and Ian Butler. Initially Southee and Butler were seen as competing for a starting spot. Butler played all three matches but Southee replaced Iain O'Brien in the third. He was hit for 105 runs without taking a wicket and then dropped from the squad.
Southee played only in the third of the tests, ahead of Mills and Jeetan Patel. India continued to dominate him, and his 30 overs across both innings cost 152 runs for only 3 wickets. The match was a draw, letting India win the series 1–0.
Southee wasn't picked to play any full international cricket through the southern winter, which included the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy and 2009 ICC World Twenty20.
Southee retained one of New Zealand Cricket's 20 player contracts for the 12 months from 1 August 2009 but through the winter season was left out of Black Caps teams. Instead he played as a New Zealand emerging player, and for New Zealand A. His results were encouraging but Shane Bond's return to international cricket gave him another rival for international selection.
In late July and early August the Australian Institute of Sport hosted a four-team tournament including "emerging players" teams from New Zealand, India and South Africa. The tournament combined both Twenty20 matches (New Zealand played two) and one-day matches (six). Southee played all eight matches for New Zealand, finishing with 12 wickets – twice as many as any of his team-mates – at 28.66. He scored runs quickly with 55 off 56 balls in the one-days matches. New Zealand won only one game.
Within a week of the tournament finishing in Australia, Southee arrived in Chennai, India to play four two-day games and a 50-over match with the New Zealand A side. Southee took only three wickets in the two-day matches (one in each of New Zealand's bowling innings, with one game ruined by rain). In the one-day match he took 3/37 off six overs.
This tour was also Shane Bond's return to New Zealand cricket, having been banned after he joined the rebel Indian Cricket League. Bond was then chosen ahead of Southee for the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.
After missing the 2009 winter season Southee became a regular selection for New Zealand in the 2009–10 summer, playing 18 of the season's 22 international matches against Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia. He also played ten HRV Cup matches for Northern Districts in January.
With bowler Daryl Tuffey unavailable due to a broken hand, Southee regained a place in the New Zealand side that travelled to Abu Dhabi and Dubai to play three ODIs and two Twenty20s against Pakistan. Before the series captain and stand-in coach Daniel Vettori said he hoped that Southee could "cement his place" in the side. Vettori picked him for all five matches, across which he took seven wickets (four in the ODIs, three in Twenty20s).
The teams moved to New Zealand for a three test series. Before the series Southee played for an invitational XI in a three-day match against the tourists but he "didn't think I bowled very well" and was omitted for the first two tests. He returned to Northern Districts and immediately took 8/27 in a Plunket Shield match against Wellington, the third-best figures in Northern Districts history. (The Wellington match was marred for Southee by a two-day suspension for swearing.) He was added to the New Zealand team for the third and final test, in Napier, opening the bowling and taking three wickets.
In February Bangladesh visited New Zealand for three ODIs, one Twenty20 and a test. Southee went wicketless in the Twenty20 and first ODI, then missed the second ODI. He returned with three wickets in the third. In the one-off test he opened the bowling and took four wickets across two innings. New Zealand won by 121 runs, giving them a clean sweep of the tour.
Australia's tour included two Twenty20s, five ODIs and two tests. Southee played all of these matches except the first Twenty20. His series began slowly, with only two wickets in his first five games. But in the last ODI he took 4/36 and was man of the match in a 51-run victory (the match was a dead rubber).
Australia won the test series easily. In the first match New Zealand only took five wickets, none of them falling to Southee. In the second New Zealand started by bowling Australia out for 231. Southee had four first-innings wickets and added two more top-order scalps in the second. His two batting scores – 22 not out and 45 respectively – were his best since his debut test.
Building up to the 2011 World Cup, New Zealand's northern tours in 2010 focused on short forms of cricket. The team played five matches at the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies, an historic two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in the United States, four ODIs in a Tri-Series with Sri Lanka and India, a five-ODI series in Bangladesh, then five ODIs and three tests in India. The tour to India lasted until December.
Southee was a squad member for every series of the season, playing in 14 of these 24 matches.
Ten months after missing selection for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 Southee played the first three of New Zealand's five games in the 2010 edition, taking a single wicket in each, but was dropped on form. New Zealand were knocked out at the "Super 8" stage.
New Zealand and Sri Lanka then played two matches at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. This was the first time full ICC members played each other in the United States. Across the two games Southee only bowled four overs, ending with a combined 0/25.
The three sub-continental countries that New Zealand toured to in 2010 were to host the ICC World Cup in March and April 2011. The tours were seen as important pre-cup practice but New Zealand lost every series. Southee took six wickets in seven ODIs (including four in one match), and four wickets in two tests.
In August New Zealand played a triangular one-day tournament hosted by Sri Lanka and including India. They played four matches, all in Dambulla, selecting Southee for the second (a loss to Sri Lanka) and fourth (a "comprehensive thrashing" against India), in which he took four wickets. New Zealand finished third.
It wasn't until October that New Zealand toured again, this time to Bangladesh for five ODIs in Dhaka. The tourists were "thoroughly outplayed throughout the series" and didn't win a match. Southee played in two of the matches without taking a wicket.
The team to India played three tests (for the first time since March) and five ODIs. New Zealand didn't win a game, though the first two tests were drawn. Southee missed the first test but replaced Jeetan Patel for the last two. He took four wickets at an average of 56. He played in three of the ODIs but didn't bowl in the last of them (India's chase only lasted 22 overs), and took a combined 1/97.
With the 2011 ICC World Cup starting in February, New Zealand only hosted one tour for the summer. Pakistan visited for three Twenty20s, two tests and six ODIs. Southee only missed one ODI, playing all the other matches. He became the third bowler (and second New Zealander) to take a hat-trick in a Twenty20 international, and also took his first ODI five-wicket bag.
The Twenty20 series began on Boxing Day in Auckland, where Southee was named man of the match. He finished the sixth over of the game with a wicket. In his next over he took a hat-trick – only the third in international Twenty20 cricket – giving him four top-order wickets in five balls. He ended with 5/18 in four overs – at the time his best figures in Twenty20 internationals. New Zealand won the match.
Southee also took consecutive wickets in the second match, finishing with 2/26. In the third he took 1/53. His bowling average for the series was 12.1.
The first day of the first test saw Pakistan take seven wickets in 65 overs. Southee, batting at 8, played through to the end of the 90-over day with Kane Williamson in a partnership that "prevented Pakistan's complete domination", earning his second test half-century in the process. He was out the next morning for 56, making him joint top-scorer for the innings. Southee also took two first-innings wickets, but over the second and third days Pakistan easily won the match.
Established as one of New Zealand's opening bowlers, Southee added two wickets in each innings of the second test. This gave his 6 for the series, averaging 40.5. He also scored another 23 runs in a drawn match. Both his batting and bowling averages for the series were better than his test career averages to date.
Southee played five of the six ODIs. One was washed out in the third over, effectively making it a five-match series. Pakistan won 3–2.
In the first match Southee won another man of the match award for taking his first ODI five-wicket bag, including three in his opening spell. His 5/33 helped bowl Pakistan out for 134, leaving an easy chase for his team.
His figures faded through the series though, and in the last two matches he played (the fourth and sixth of the series) he didn't take any wickets. Across the series he took 7/217, averaging 31.
Southee was the third-highest wicket-taker at the 2011 World Cup, hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He was named by the ICC as the 12th man, and only New Zealander, in the "team of the tournament" having finished with 18 wickets at 17.33 (Shahid Afridi and Zaheer Khan jointly topped the wicket-takers). He opened the bowling in seven of New Zealand's eight matches and was first change in the other. New Zealand used 12 bowlers in the tournament, with only Southee and Nathan McCullum bowling in all of their games.
Southee's best figures came in New Zealand's win against eventual semi-finalists Pakistan. He took 3/25, with each dismissed batsman playing in Pakistan's top five. He took wickets in all of New Zealand's matches, including three each against Kenya, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka twice – in the group stages and in the first semi-final.
The New Zealand team employed former South African fast bowler Allan Donald as a bowling coach from January 2011. His work was credited as contributing a lot towards Southee's improvement and success at the world cup. Towards the end of the tournament Donald predicted that Southee could be the best swing bowler in world cricket:
The first thing I said to [Tim Southee] when I met him was, 'I want you to take the responsibility of leading this attack. As young as you are, I want you to take that responsibility because you could become the best swing bowler in world cricket in the next year or so'.
I haven't changed his style of bowling, although I think we can improve that. I think he can add the inswinger to right-handers and that's something I need to bring to his game to add some variety.
New Zealand ended the tournament as beaten semi-finalists.
Southee had been passed over at the 2011 IPL player auction in January, but shortly after New Zealand were eliminated from the World Cup his form led to the Chennai Super Kings signing him for the IPL's 2011 season, which began on 8 April. The Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming's last test appearance for New Zealand had coincided with Southee's first. In his IPL debut Southee helped the Super Kings to a two-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders by conceding only 6 runs in the last over of the match. By playing the IPL Southee gave up the chance to join English county Essex for their domestic summer, but he did join them for the 2011 Friends Life t20 after the IPL. During a victory over Glamorgan, Southee took 6/16 including a hat-trick, establishing the record for best bowling figures for Essex in a t20.
New Zealand's season began with a short tour to Zimbabwe which included their first test match since January 2011, ten months before. Southee was injured out of that tour, with his knee not having recovered. Instead his season began with Northern Districts' first class matches, proving his fitness with a haul of 7–37 in the first innings against Wellington.
On the tour to West Indies there were 2 T20Is, 5 ODIs and 2 tests. On a difficult tour NZ won only 1 ODI, losing all the other internationals.
In the 5-match ODI series Southee was top NZ wicket-taker with 10.
Partnering Neil Wagner and Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult and Southee were called up for the 2nd test at Sabina Park and took 4 and 3 wickets respectively.
The schedule for New Zealand's tour to Sri Lanka included a Twenty20 match (abandoned due to rain), five ODIs (two abandoned, three rain-affected and won by Sri Lanka), and two test matches.
Southee played all three of the ODIs to count, taking only two wickets. In the fourth ODI he picked up three wickets before rain interrupted his over and ultimately led to the match being abandoned.
The test series was drawn one match all – including New Zealand's first win in Sri Lanka in over a decade – and Southee played a major part. He took 12 wickets at an average under 14. ESPNCricinfo rated him the best of the New Zealanders, saying that "on this series' evidence he can be an effective spearhead for New Zealand in the years to come."
By the start of the 2012–13 summer, national captain Brendon McCullum recognised Southee as "our number 1 bowler", an assessment that held even as New Zealand toured South Africa in December and January without Southee, who stayed behind for the birth of his first child and then injured his thumb in a domestic match.
On 14 February Southee returned to cricket after two months. Playing for Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield, he took 1 wickets and scored 3 runs. His form, and Mitchell McCleneghan being ruled out, led to a selection for the squad to play against the touring English team.
Southee returned to the New Zealand test side for the three match series against England. He took only one wicket in the first two matches, but in the third game at Eden Park Southee returned to form, taking 5 wickets as New Zealand fell one wicket short of a series win over the tourists.
In May 2013, New Zealand travelled to England to play two further test matches. Southee lead the New Zealand attack, bowling superbly to take a career best 10 wickets in the first test at Lord's (becoming the first New Zealander since Dion Nash to do so). He also bowled well in the second test at Headingly, and was widely regarded as unfortunate to finish with just 2 wickets.
In the first half of 2014, Southee continued to establish himself as one of the best new ball bowlers in the world, leading New Zealand to a test series victory over a touring Indian side with 11 wickets in a series of consistent performances. He followed this by once again leading the New Zealand bowlers in their tour of the West Indies. Southee again took 11 wickets as New Zealand won their first away series against major opposition in 12 years. By the end of the tour, Southee had risen to number 6 in the ICC world bowling rankings.
In the 2015 Cricket World Cup group match in Wellington, he took his career best bowling figures of 7/33 against England. The opponents were bowled out for 123 and the Black Caps won by 8 wickets with Southee being named Man of the Match.
Coming at no.10 against India at Dharamshala, Southee scored his first half century in ODIs. This was the fifth highest by any player in ODIs at no. 10 position. After getting dropped in the 1st test versus South Africa for Jeetan Patel he came on as a substitute fielder and caught Hashim Amla.
Southee is a right arm medium fast out-swing bowler. While not as quick as fellow new-ball bowler Trent Boult (and the fact that he doesn't keep bowling at 136-141km/h for long spells in tests), Southee's meticulous accuracy and well disguised variations have allowed him to develop into a genuine spearhead. In 2008 when Southee was first selected in the national team Richard Hadlee remarked of him "He runs in relatively straight, he gets through his action nicely and he moves the ball, particularly away from the batsman". He also established himself as the new opening bowling attack partnership with Boult, having taken 46% of all wickets between them since 2013, especially since the retirement of Chris Martin. In seaming conditions or bowling with an older ball, he tends to bowl more cross-seam deliveries. In damp pitches, he tends to bowl off cutters akin to a fast off spin.
As a batsman, his aggressive style makes him a useful lower-order batsman. He made his top score of 77* on debut, but since then, his over aggressiveness made him unsuitable as a tailender. He had been dismissed by Nathan Lyon 6 times overall in tests.
Southee's first child, a son named Cooper, was born in December 2012.
as of 10 June 2014