Tim Southee accounted for the wickets of stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, who top scored with 39 and Krunal Pandya in the first T20I. @ Getty Images

New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has admitted that he hasn’t been at his best in white-ball cricket. The 30-year-old wily pacer was the pick of the bowlers (three for 17) in the hosts’ record 80-run win against India in the first of the three-match Twenty20 Internationals at Wellington on Wednesday.

“A number of guys that needed game time and I know I haven’t been at my best with the white-ball for a while,” Southee was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz on Thursday. “It’s never nice missing out but just have to make the most of opportunities when you get them.” (ALSO READ: ‘India played the wrong XI in Wellington T20I’)

Southee accounted for the wickets of stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, who top scored with 39 and Krunal Pandya. “There’s been times in the last year or so I’ve felt I’ve bowled extremely well at times and haven’t got wickets or supported Trent Boult at the other end,” he explained.

“So, I guess you’re always looking at ways to get better, always looking at ways to try and improve as a cricketer. So, it’s just always [about being] involved in the game and look in a different way so you can get better and looking back to when you were at your best and how you were operating then.” (ALSO READ: Ravi Shastri has a plan for Virat Kohli at the ICC World Cup 2019)

He attributed his performance in Wellington as the result of putting in the hard yards in the nets.

“Any time you get a chance to play, you’re going out there to do your job and your role for the team. It was no different last night. Felt like I’ve been bowling really well in the nets and for me it was just about transforming that form from the nets to the game. Different when you’ve been sitting on the sidelines for a while and to go out there, there’s obviously excitement, few nerves, but obviously nice way to start the series.

“Sometimes in T20 cricket, it can feel really nice and your figures can look really different. It was just a part of almost the perfect puzzle last night, the perfect team performance.” (ALSO READ: It’s just one match, anybody can fail: Sunil Gavaskar backs Rishabh Pant’s poor show in Wellington)

New Zealand are one win away from a series win and in doing so, will keep India’s jinx intact. The tourists have never a T20I in New Zealand.

“Last night was a good atmosphere and I think tomorrow will be an amazing atmosphere too. I think it’ll probably be the first time Eden Park’s been sold out since the 2015 World Cup. Doesn’t happen too often when we play there. Will be a very noisy crowd and one the guys are very much looking forward to,” he said.