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Any opportunity to play India is a special one: Williamson

November 15, 2022 14:16 IST

IMAGE: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson believes top teams like India and England, who have a large talent pool, can afford to have different players across formats in international cricket. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

England's phenomenal success in white-ball cricket has forced rivals to consider different set of players and coaches for the limited overs game and Tests but New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson feels only a team with a big talent pool can afford to take that route.

Williamson was referring to the vast reserve of players that a side like India possesses and a smaller nation like New Zealand doesn't.


At the moment, England is the only major cricket team to have different coaches with Brendon McCullum in charge of the Test side and Matthew Mott guiding the white-ball cricketers.

"With the volume of cricket happening, that is definitely a challenge not just for the players but for the support staff too," Williamson said ahead of the limited overs series against India, starting in Wellington, on Friday.

"You are playing games every two or three days and that absolutely has its challenges and you see more and more around the world where formats are split and once again there is a balance to strike.

"Some nations with larger player pools have more of an opportunity to do that and other sides have other challenges. You are always trying to balance that out and make sure guys are fresh."

Williamson, whose team lost in the T20 World Cup semis last week, was also asked if tournament champions England have set the template on how the shortest format should be played.

"There are so many strong T20 sides and we saw it in this tournament more so than any other. There were a number of upsets. The English team plays a strong brand of cricket which is aggressive and suits the balance of their side and every team is always trying to work around its strength and play according to those to put out its best performance.

"The game is evolving all the time but you also see it kind of go in circles where it goes in one direction and comes back to another. At the end, you are trying to understand what works for the team with the resources that you have," Williamson said.

The six match series against India, including three ODIs and as many T20Is, will start the team's preparation for the 50-over World Cup in India next year, he said.

India will be playing the series without their senior players but considering the 'incredible depth' they have, Williamson reckons the ones getting the opportunity will post a tough challenge for the team.

Finn Allen's rise as an opener meant veteran Martin Guptill had to sit on the sidelines in the T20 World Cup. He is also not part of the squad for India series and neither is senior pacer Trent Boult, who recently opted out of a New Zealand central contract.

Williamson said Guptill was not picked for the India series as the squad in a home series is not as big as an away series while they hope to unearth more pace bowling options in Boult's absence.

"With the moving landscape we are presented with, players have made a number of decisions and Trent being big part of our team has done that and although still available he has got a few other things to focus on.

"There is an opportunity at the moment with other guys on the fringe to get some opportunity and for us building a team and growing as a team is really important.  

"But Trent is certainly a big part of New Zealand cricket and has been for a long time, it is going to be important to learn and get an understanding on how it looks over the next period," said the skipper.

On Guptill, he added: "You could argue that he has been our best white-ball cricketer ever, he is right up there. He brings good qualities to the team and was outstanding throughout the World Cup and passed on his knowledge with the young ones. So full credit to him."

It is for the second time in as many years that India and New Zealand find themselves playing a bilateral T20 series less than a week after the World Cup final.

Williamson said, as players, they have little control over the schedule.

"Not just the World Cup, the schedule prior has been busy and has been the case for everybody. After a major event, there is an opportunity and sometimes a risk to have a few days off and come back together as a group but as you know the schedule is pretty full.

"Any opportunity to play India is a special one. With India resting few of their players and bring in other players you see the challenges being faced with tight scheduling. That is being the nature of the beast."

India's tour of New Zealand will be aired on Prime Video.

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