World Test Championship final: Blackcaps' superior recent record over India means nothing, says Tim Southee

The Blackcaps' superior recent record over India counts for nothing heading into the World Test Championship final, seamer Tim Southee says.

With the two sides to meet at Southampton's Ageas Bowl from Friday to decide which nation will be crowned as inaugural winners of the World Test Championship.

The Blackcaps are coming into the test arguably in the best position. New Zealand has warmed up with a series victory over hosts England, while India has only had one intra-squad match as their preparation.

New Zealand also holds the wood over India in test cricket, winning the two sides' last series 2-0 at the start of 2020, with neither test lasting four days, nevermind five.

To rub salt in the wounds, the Blackcaps also knocked India out of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, winning by 18 runs in a two-day encounter in Manchester. All in all, the Blackcaps haven't lost to India in an ICC event since the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

But speaking ahead of Friday's opening day in Southampton, Southee says that New Zealand's recent wins mean nothing in the context of the World Test Championship final.

"It was a great series to be a part of, we played some pretty good cricket in our own conditions," Southee says.

"But I don't think we can read too much into that. It's a one-off test match, the final of the Test Championship in a neutral venue.

"That was a wee while ago. It was nice to play India in the cycle, and then obviously we get another chance in the coming week as well.

"I don't think you can read too much into it. It was a great couple of test matches to be a part of, but we know this is just a one-off.

"We need to turn up on Friday and give our best shot over the coming week."

The series win over England, New Zealand's first since 1999, does put the Blackcaps in good stead, with a number of players - Southee included - putting in impressive performances to build into Friday's final.

"We've had a great start to the tour. It's always great fun to come over to the UK and play over here.

"We've played two tests against England, which obviously has been pretty good for us. I think it's been a great preparation leading into this test final.

"We've had a number of guys that have had good performances throughout those two test matches.

"A couple of days' training today and tomorrow, and as you know, we're all looking forward to the ultimate goal of this tour.

One major concern though will come from the weather. Of the five, potentially six days, of the World Test Championship final, rain is forecast to fall.

And while a sixth day can be taken to secure a result, it seems likely that rain could prove to be a decisive factor in determining whether or not there's a winner.

But Southee knows that there's no point in the Blackcaps worrying about the weather.

"We've had two beautiful days in the lead up so far," Southee adds.

"I know there's a lot of rain forecast, but whether that hits us or not we don't know. We're trying to control the things we can control, and weather's not one of those things we can control.

"I guess we've just got to wait and see how the next few days pan out.

Should the World Test Championship be drawn, then both New Zealand and India will share the inaugural trophy.

Join Newshub for live updates of the World Test Championship final from 9pm Friday.