Absence of Southee-Boult Partnership


Tim Southee & Trent Boult have been one of the celebrated New ball Pairs in the last decade globally. They certainly are New Zealand’s most successful pair by a distance. Since you can draw a lot of parallel’s to Bowling conditions in UK from their home conditions, it makes them a deadly partnership to have in your Armory.

Trent Boult wicket taking Spree in UK

Trent Boult has an absolutely immaculate Career bowling average with 28 Runs per Wicket. With those numbers, a fielding captain can often rely on him for constant wickets. As i mentioned in the introduction related to the similarity in the bowling conditions in UK & NZ, Hence it is quite relatable for him to be performing as better has he does at home.

This is also very much proven by below statistics which show that his Bowling average gets even better than his career average in UK. This implies that his Wicket taking ability is more lethal

To add to the above visual, of we look at his performances by Innings in all the Tests that he has played in England it shows that he has been a real Wicket taking machine across 2 tours to England so far. Apart from one Innings where he had a Side strain which stopped him bowling more than 2 overs.

It shows that with every outing in England, he has picked wickets & at very reasonable rates.

Tim Southee’s Inconsistency in UK

Tim Southee is more experienced campaigner compared to his new ball partner Boult. He has also been one of the major forces with the ball for Kiwis from over a decade.

His Career Performances are also quite remarkable. His bowling average is 28.7 runs per innings. This is truly exceptional & its very similar to Boult as well. With this Bowling average, the opposition Batting team needs to be very cautions as wickets might start tumbling at a rapid pace.

However in the 5 tests that he has played in England, his bowling average has been comparatively poor. He has picked wickets at 34 Runs a piece which means that his wickets more costlier than ever. This is explained in the chart below. It also shows that this average of 34 is highly skewed on account of one performance back in 2013. He picked 10 wickets in the match at Lords.

After Excluding this performance, it shows that his not really been that Wicket taking force which he has been in other conditions around the world in UK.

Southee-Boult Partnership

Since Boult was part of the IPL, his return to the tests against England on time has made it nearly impossible for him to play in this series. He has been told to part of the WTC final on 18th June vs. India.


But with respect to this series against England, there would be a huge miss for New Zealand given his past performances explained above.

Now what’s more interesting is the fact that when both these Swing & seam geniuses are playing together, Southee’s performances go number of notches higher up.

This is Proven with below chart which shows that how much Southee is dependent on Boult’s presence.

The Away bowling bar in Orange shows the impact of Boult playing along with Southee. It amplifies the fact that Nz will be missing Boult big time vs. England.

Concluding Thoughts

However on the positive side of things is that NZ have Wagner, Jamieson, Bracewell & Henry as backups. Will they be able to fill the gaping hole created by the missing Boult in this series?


  1. What I would be very interested to know is where abouts in T Southee’s career the games without Boult happened? I could be wrong but I believe Southee’s average has improved markedly since the beginning of his career. It could be that Southee’s average when bowling in partnership with vs without Boult is more to do with the different stages of his career and his development with experience than it has to do with having Boult at the other end. Just a thought, could be completely wrong though.
    It would be interesting to know how Southee’s average on his tours to Eng compare with the average of all similar bowlers for each series and Southee’s seasonal average to get a gauge of how well he performed when the conditions and his abilities are taken into account.

    1. Yes good suggestion however have 1 doubt on your point related to similar bowlers? Can you clarify what do you mean when you say similar bowlers?

      1. Yeah sure! By similar I just mean other seamers, or other right arm seamers or other right arm seamers of a similar pace (medium fast) featuring in the same series. It’s not perfect but it may help contextualise how we evaluate his numbers. For example – in terms of average and strike rate, Anderson and Southee both had above average performances in 2013; the 1st and 3rd ranked bowlers of the series, respectively. In 2015 they both struggled. In fact none of Anderson, Southee, Henry or Stokes did particularly well that series. Wood and Broad were the only right arm seamers who performed above the average for all seamers. This hints at the possibility that in 2015 – the conditions, the batsmen, and the style of batting that was being bowled at suited Broad and Wood’s approach more than that of the aforementioned four medium fast seamers. Tim Southee’s average and strike rate for 2015 was below the average for all seamers across the same year. The opposite was true for 2013. Possibly, we’re looking at two tours that offered a player at two different levels of performance different degrees of fortune and favour.

  2. I just mean how did other seamers, or right arm seamers fair in the matches that Tim Southee played in.

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