“In terms of having the four of us in one time is pretty special” – Tim Southee
“I think for me this is about, for all of New Zealand really, from people that have always gone to [put] the extra effort from New Zealand Cricket’s staff, board, sponsors, the caterers at the ground we play at, the curators at all the grounds, the physios, the domestic coaches and the CEOs – everyone has had an input into this somewhere and a valuable contribution and it really means a lot to us now,” he said. “I think, at times, I’ve been really emotional in my room, and also for me personally my wife because she puts up with me being away a lot. For me, personally, this is my greatest coaching achievement.”
Jurgensen, a journeyman cricketer who has held coaching roles with Bangladesh, Fiji, Scotland, and New Zealand after leaving the game, revealed that he was crying tears of joy and rewatching New Zealand’s sixth-day final victory during MIQ (Managed Isolation Quarantine).
“Oh! I’ve cried. I’ve cried a few times – probably every day since the win. You sort of sit there and then you go: ‘Wow! World Test champions’. There’s been some fantastic players over a number of years who have played for this team. I’ve just had Iain O’Brien on the phone actually telling me that he’s watched the end of it twice and cried. I’ve had Gav [Gavin] Larsen, our selector who works really hard behind the scenes, he called it his best day in cricket and that’s a guy that played a lot for New Zealand and you know it means a lot.”
Jurgensen delivered a glowing appraisal of the New Zealand attack, reckoning they were the best in the world, having been there and done that over a period of time.
“I think just to have four of us, three of us with an excess of 200 Test wickets, is pretty special, and probably a once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience for New Zealand cricket”
“I think so. I’ve been thinking that [New Zealand have the best attack] for a while. So it’s just me and my role and belief in these bowlers; what they bring to us as a team and the challenges they have overseas,” he said. “But, I think they are and we can probably strongly say that right now – this hasn’t been a fluke and it has been happening for a long time. As I said, the belief in the bowling group – how they plan, how fit they are, how strong they are and how much they believe in each other. The trust is amazing and we got four or five bowlers in the final, but all do different things.
Southee also hailed the versatility in the attack, saying the relentless pressure generated by the pack made the difference. “I guess you look at New Zealand history, you’ve had periods where you’ve had one or two good bowlers, obviously Richard Hadlee, and then Dan Vettori doing his thing, sort of chipped in with the likes of Chris Martin and a number of other guys along the way, but I guess in terms of having the four of us in one time is pretty special,” Southee said. “Not only the four of us but also the work de Grandhomme does in and around the pace bowlers as well, and also Matt Henry has chipped in during that England series as well, so I think just to have four of us, three of us with an excess of 200 Test wickets, is pretty special, and probably a once-in-a-lifetime sort of experience for New Zealand cricket.
“So giving a few kids around New Zealand the inspiration to grow up and want to be bowlers rather than just batters, so yeah, it’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of, and hopefully we can continue to do great things for this side in the years to come.”
“Obviously, winning the final was the standout, but to see those guys come in and literally fit like a glove, and do their roles – it was just great to see,” Jurgensen said. “So, satisfying for our systems – the A programme, the winter-training squad, the domestic development of players and the support that we get from coaches, high-performance managers and CEOs. It’s a real fantastic tick in the box for what’s going on now in New Zealand cricket.”
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo