Kane Williamson not too concerned with No. 1 Test rank

New Zealand captain Williamson has recovered from the elbow injury with the help of an injection.

New Zealand captain Williamson has recovered from the elbow injury with the help of an injection.   -  GETTY IMAGES

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has featured in two ICC World Cup finals - in 2015 and 2019, but it was a heartbreak for the team on both ocassions. And ahead of the World Test Championship final against India, beginning Friday, Williamson is looking forward to the challenge.

Williamson missed out on the second Test against England last week as an old elbow issue flared up again. However, after treatment, he is ready to return to action. “Everybody is fit in the squad, which is a good thing. My elbow has improved, with the help of an injection a few days back,” Williamson said in a media interaction on the eve of the summit clash in Southampton.

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With the series win against England last week, New Zealand has derailed India from the top of the ICC Test rankings and ahead of the big game, he is not too concerned about the rankings. “You have these rankings and they take slightly different shapes every-day. But, we know that the challenge is very, very strong against this Indian side,” Williamson said.

“We are really looking forward to the match, it's been quite a long time coming...In terms of (being) favourites, these tags that come about. We are much more concerned with the cricket that we want to play and also very realistic. We know that India are an incredibly strong side all around the world...”

The New Zealand captain is also happy with the progress of the side over the last couple of years. “There's been a lot of growth over a period of time with so many challenges along the way every day but the team has bought into it and tried to move past those with a good attitude. There is a lot of hard work done over a long period of time to find ourselves here in the first final (of WTC),” he said.

“It's exciting but for us it's just focusing on continuing that growth and trying to keep committing to the parts of our game that give us the best chance and that's where I know the guys will be focusing on. We are trying to look at the long game and try and improve all the time.”

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New Zealand has a strong bowling line-up and it is spoilt of choice in the pace department. While Williamson is happy with the problem of plenty, the side is yet to take a call on the final eleven.

“There are a number of guys that are playing well. Look, seam bowlers have been contributing really well. There is some depth there in that department, which is very important to our team, so there'll be some tricky but good conversations to have in finalizing the eleven."

He also indicated that playing a one-off final at a neutral venue is ‘unique’. “Both teams have prepared as well as they could. It is a one off game and in cricket anything can happen," he said.

 Talking about whether the WTC has been a success, Williamson said: "I think we certainly did see it getting closer towards the crunch end with teams having to work out what they would need to achieve for a place in the final.”

 “We did see a lot of exciting Tests where teams were doing everything they could to get across the line, some sporting declarations. I remember watching a few Tests over the course of the two years. They were very exciting to watch and WTC does provide that extra context to the format and is a step in the right direction.” 

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