Williamson: We need to hit the ground running

“We are confident going into this competition, but you still appreciate the nature and how fickle one-day cricket can be, especially when they are just one-off games.” says Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, ahead of the Champions Trophy.

Kane Williamson... “Any opportunity you have to play in a world event is a great opportunity.”   -  Reuters

Kane Williamson is quite realistic about his team’s chances in the Champions Trophy. “We feel (we have) as much chance as anyone to win this competition. We are confident going into this competition, but you still appreciate the nature and how fickle one-day cricket can be, especially when they are just one-off games,” says the New Zealand skipper.

 Question: First of all, how eager are you to win this Champions Trophy?

Answer: It is an exciting competition. Any opportunity you have to play in a world event is a great opportunity. The team has been travelling well and playing some good one-day cricket, but you still know that the nature of the Champions Trophy is such that on any given day, results can go either way. So you need to hit the ground running and play with that freedom. The guys are excited.

It’s 17 years since you last won the tournament. It was called the ICC knockout Tournament at that time. This time, do you think you have the best chance of doing it?

Like I said, we feel (we have) as much chance as anyone to win this competition. We are confident going into this competition, but you still appreciate the nature and how fickle one-day cricket can be, especially when they are just one-off games. So, I guess therein lies a lot of excitement about a competition where it is pretty much knockout based.

Kane, you are now coming off a T20 tournament, into 50 overs cricket. How difficult is it to make the transition?

I guess because they are both limited-over games, the transition is probably a smaller adjustment rather than perhaps Twenty20 to Test cricket. At the same time, it is an adjustment that you need to make, and probably more so a mental adjustment. If you can do that, then obviously that is very helpful. We have a couple of warm-up one-day matches as well, which should be nice. I think the guys will be really looking forward to their first game against Australia.

The first big game that we are talking about — everyone is looking forward to it: New Zealand versus Australia. Are you eager to exact revenge?

(Laughs) Not revenge, that is not how we look at it. We want to be playing our best cricket and we know if we are able to do that, it gives ourselves the best chance of beating a team like Australia, who are a very good one-day side. It is important that you go out, play with that freedom that gives you the best chance to put your best performance together. Unlike the World Cup, where often there is a series of matches, where, yes, if you lose one, you can make that up towards the back-end of power play. Champions Trophy is far more fickle in nature that you need to try and go out and play with that confidence straightaway and grab momentum straightaway.

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