Nagpur: Wary of spin friendly surface in the tournament-opener against India, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said adapting to the conditions will be a big challenge for his side in the World Twenty20, in Nagpur on Monday.
New Zealand had struggled against England spinners in their warm-up game as well. “We certainly are expecting spin to pay a big part in this tournament. I suppose judging by the warm-up games in Mumbai, they had a bit for the seamers and it swung a little bit. They were very good surfaces but from what cricket we have seen here in Nagpur, spin looks likely to play a big part. It’s important that we adjust our game plans accordingly,” Williamson said.
Lessons from warm-up matches
“Whenever you play around the world, you need to adapt to different conditions. As you say, we have been playing a bit of cricket at home, it is important that we make those adjustments coming into this tournament. We have had some good preparations in the UAE and in Mumbai as well. But at the same time, whichever ground you play around India, the conditions can be slightly different, so we have to assess those again tomorrow,” he added.
He, however, did not read too much about his batsmen being shackled by England spinners in the warm-up game in Mumbai on March 10.
“In warm-up games, you take small bits out of them, look to build on performances. In that game, we played a very new-look side, tried guys in different areas. The wicket did slow up a bit and we certainly are focusing on this game now and the opposition that we have.” He also did not dwell too much on India’s poor record (0-4) against the Kiwis in recent T20 Internationals, saying the hosts are a formidable opponent in the tournament.
“Every game of cricket is different. It is pretty much a clean slate, it is the start of a tournament and it s important for us to be focused on our plans and to execute them as best as we can. We certainly know that India are a very strong side in this competition and we have to be at our best.”
New Zealand’s past records
New Zealand have not yet won a major ICC title so far but Williamson said T20 format gives them a chance to get rid of this stat. “It’s certainly half-full, I think. You come to this tournament and you certainly know that playing T20 cricket on its day can go any way and you have got a dangerous side like most other sides in this competition. Like I mentioned, it will be an exciting tournament and it will be good to watch.
The boys are raring to go, to play some exciting cricket. “Twenty20 cricket is fickle in nature and if you go out and express yourself, play with that freedom, anything can happen.”