Williamson hopeful for 'emerging' NZ
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."