New Zealand news May 28, 2014

Williamson hopeful for 'emerging' NZ

Graham Hardcastle

Kane Williamson is hopeful an emerging New Zealand side can replicate their excellent recent home form on the road when they take on the West Indies in the forthcoming three-match Test series, starting in Jamaica a week on Sunday. A series win during the next five weeks would be their third in a row, although the first away from home since November 2011 when they beat Zimbabwe 1-0.

Williamson will link up with his international colleagues after flying from England tomorrow, where he has spent the first part of the county season as Yorkshire's dependable overseas batsman. He played in their Roses Championship draw against Lancashire, which finished with rain ruining a potentially intriguing final day.

New Zealand head into the series on the back of home victories against India and the West Indies either side of Christmas - a 2-0 success in a three-match series coming against the latter before the festive period. But their last away success in a series consisting of more than one Test came against Bangladesh when they won a two-match series 1-0 in October 2008.

"It will certainly be a good challenge in their conditions," Williamson said, who has scored 303 runs at 43.28 from six Championship matches for Yorkshire, a haul which he described as "steady".

"We played them at home and did very well. But, as we all know, the conditions are the complete opposite to what we're used to, so spin and things like that come into it a lot more. It will be a great challenge for us and one we're looking forward to. The team has been playing well and if we can adapt to those conditions, there's no reason why we can't perform.

"There is a whole bunch of young guys in the side at the moment. I'm not sure what the average age is, but it's very young with some experienced players like Brendon McCullum and senior heads that have been around for a while.

"There are a lot of young cricketers, some of whom have some games under their belts and are becoming more experienced. There are still a few young guys that are extremely talented and it's nice to see a few allrounders coming into the mix as well.

"When you do have that core, you're going to learn a lot. Perhaps last time in England [a 2-0 defeat last May], we got exposed as a young side and we learnt a lot from that. But by playing together, you can only move forward. Win or lose, you're ultimately gaining those experiences and improving."

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  • joe on May 30, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Definitely agree with kiwicricketnut that is the starting lineup I would have neesham did to well to be left out and opening is about the only option left it will make Anderson lift his game having another allrounder in the squad let alone in the starting team and in all honesty Fulton and Rutherford dont inspire me with much confidence at least Hamish is young where as I don't think there's any future in selecting Fulton. As for Wagner i know he's not express but i rate him but i like the idea of giving Henry a shot but not at the expense of Wagner just yet. So its a good position to be in for a change players competing for positions and other guys knocking on the door

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    Isn't it remarkable to think the West Indies could play 3 front line spinners at home! I don't think anyone in the 70's, 80's or 90's would ever have believed it. The NZ bowlers are disciplined enough, the result of this series will all come down to how well the Kiwi batsmen play the spinners.

  • jared on May 29, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    ok william why not open with him, it sounds crazy i know but do you have any faith in rutherford? i know i dont. neesham has always been a top order bat through the age groups but because he's an allrounder who hits a long ball he's been shuffled down the order in first class stuff but that was a mistake in my opinion he is very technically correct and should be batting as high as possible, its a huge ask and he may not want the job but why not try he couldn't possibly do any worse than fulton or rutherford he could potentially be the answer at the top of the order we've been looking for, i would hate to see him axed if he failed though so its a bit risky but nothing ventured, nothing gained, the way i see it is to win test cricket you need your best xi players on the park and you fit them in somehow my xi 1.latham 2.neesham 3.williamson 4.taylor 5.mccullum 6.anderson 7.watling 8.sohdi 9.southee 10.boult 11.wagner -because theres no henry

  • Jordan on May 29, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut I agree with everything you said. Even when Watling was in pretty average form he showed his worth by digging in and playing for time. Our bowlers can all bat decent enough so him sticking around always adds runs to our total regardless of if he scores those runs slowely. It has been the main difference between us getting 250-350 and us getting 350-450 as of late.

    I agree with the talk of Matt Henry as well. He's extremely talented and i think he has been hard done by to not even be given the chance to challenge Wagner's position in the team. I think it's also worth looking into giving Matt Henry a shot ahead of Sodhi.

    I wouldn't mind seeing Southee, Boult, Wagner, Henry in the same bowling lineup. It would mean not having one of Neesham or Anderson playing which i'm not keen on. But that's a positive problem.. Selection headaches because of depth is always a good thing.

    P.S. Sodhi is a better bat than people give credit for.

  • Garry on May 29, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Jordanious, i agree about Shodi needing to improve, he needs to improve everything about his bowling, I would put money on Williamson bagging more wickets. If he wasn't a leggie he wouldn't be anywhere near the team.

  • ESPN on May 29, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    Watling is also a decent keeper though he is not as comfortable keeping to spin than he is pace.

  • ESPN on May 29, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut i thought a bit in neesham but i just dunno where to put hime, would like sugestions as he definately deserves to be there. Kiwicricketnut is right, how would the 2nd test against india have gone without him. His stubbornness and solidarity allows whoever is batting with him to build partnerships ask brendon mccullum

  • jared on May 29, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    jordanious77 makes some good points but missed a major point and one of the reasons this black caps team has improved so much has been the rise of watling, been brilliant behind the stumps but his batting has been superb and has allowed the guys above him to bat with alot more freedom knowing someone so dependable coming in after them, he's the unsung hero in that team in my opinion. agree with william agnew as well regarding matt henry, i actually think he's the best bowler in the country, around 140km's swings the ball both ways but also gets the ball moving off the pitch, hard to compare him with southee and boult but he just seems to get that bit extra out of the pitch, cant agree with mr agnew's playing xi though, ya just can't leave a guy out averaging over 150 with the bat so neesham deserves to play.

  • Jordan on May 29, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    Continued from previous post. 2/2

    SODHI, WILLIAMSON, CRAIG- My main problem area is our spin options.

    WILLIAMSON- Williamson has been bowling well for country cricket this year which is a good sign. He will be able to bowl cameos and pick up the odd wicket, might even be able to bowl 20 overs to give other players a rest, but he is by no means a main threat so we will need someone else to step up.

    SODHI-It's quite obvious that NZC is investing their spinning hopes on Sodhi- who IMO- has the potential to be very Warne-like. He can turn the ball around corners and has a couple of different moves up his sleeve, but still need's to improve on a few crucial areas of his bowling. Something i'm sure he has done since we last saw him. But I will be watching with a lot of interest.

    CRAIG- Nothing special about him, he's an off-spinner than can vary his spin a fair bit to try trick the batsman. He (like williamson) might be able to play a cameo, but will be used as a compliment to Sodhi

  • Jordan on May 29, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    POST 1/2.

    Nz is getting better and better, we have loads of talent coming through and we definately have the potential to beat the West Indies at home.

    Here are a few points i would like to bring up..

    ANDERSON- Anderson, although being reasonably hit and miss with the bat is slowely improving in that regard. BUT what impresses me about him is his bowling. He has been smacked around a bit in this IPL, but for ODI's and tests especially i feel his death bowling and positional bowling in general has made a marked improvement.

    NEESHAM- More of a technically minded batsman than Anderson, hopefully he can show more of what he can do! He is a much quicker bowler than Anderson as well but he needs to improve on a few other aspects of it to become a geniune all-rounder.

    WILLIAMSON, TAYLOR, MCCULLUM- Have all shown us what they can do with the bat recently, all being very impressive. Them being able to adapt and perform will be crucial for us. Continue onto next post>

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