Kane Williamson in the hunt - IPL for Sunrisers to WTC final against Kohli

At neutral venues in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League, Sunrisers Hyderabad star Kane Williamson feels adapting to the conditions quickly will be the key.

Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Kane Williamson at a training session.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.R. DEEPAK

The next few months are going to be busy for Kane Williamson. The New Zealand captain, who is currently in Chennai to feature in the Indian Premier League for Sunrisers Hyderabad, will travel to England after the tournament and will gear up for the ICC World Test Championship final against India.

Before the red ball contest against Virat Kohli’s side, Williamson wants to have a good IPL. And at neutral venues, he feels adapting to the conditions quickly will be the key. “Obviously there is no home advantage and we are all playing in neutral venues. There are a few things to get our hands around and try and adapt as quickly as possible whether that's the style of cricket or the makeup of the team,” Williamson told Sportstar on Tuesday.

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Sunrisers had a quiet auction bringing in just three players — Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Kedar Jadhav and Jagadeesha Suchith. “It is a really exciting team. Any chance to compete in the IPL is really exciting, you always see a few new faces after each auction along with a large number of players that have been part of the franchise for a long period of time. That’s a nice balance,” he added.

Sunrisers will be playing five matches in Chennai, four in New Delhi, three in Kolkata and a couple of games in Bengaluru. “I suppose playing a number of games at the same venue actually can get you a little bit read on things. But you will want to do that as quickly as possible because for us we play two thirds of our games in two venues pretty much. Therein lies a good opportunity, but also there are some obvious challenges as well,” said Williamson.

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Amid the IPL noise, Williamson has plans in place for the Test championship final in Southampton from June 18. “...Over the space of two years albeit with a lot of disruption, there is going to be the WTC final and for us as a side, to be one of those teams that are playing in it. It's really exciting.

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“Playing India, who at the top of their game and the best team in the world at the moment, is a great challenge for us. But at the moment the focus is IPL and we will quickly make those adjustments in due time. We have a couple of Test matches after this against England and the World Test Championship final so some great cricket is coming up,” he said.

Kane Williamson in action against Pakistan in January 2021.   -  AP

 

Williamson is wary of the invincible Indian Test side that beat Australia and England recently. “It will be a great challenge. We know how good they are in all conditions, the exposure these days is often playing away from home and there's so much experience in this side along with talented youth. They have played extremely well with a lot of injuries as well in the Australia series, which was an incredible achievement. So, I know that they are full of confidence. For us, we have been playing some reasonable cricket too so we want to focus on what's important to our game,” he reasoned.

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Williamson, who became a father last December, highlighted the changing dynamics of living in a bio-bubble. “Everybody has a different experience but it definitely adds new dynamics leaving home, when you have just had a baby. Your life does change very quickly as soon as the little one arrives and it is an incredibly special time.

“For me, I have had some time at home before coming here. I feel very fortunate to have had that and fortunate to see her grow and change. Things happen so quickly. It is a natural bond, connection like no other. It’s always great Zooming (zoom calls) or Skyping (calls via Skype) home and catching up with my girls...” he said.

The stylish right-hander, currently serving the mandatory quarantine period, will be hoping to get some training before Sunrisers’ first game against the Kolkata Knight Riders on April 11.