India v New Zealand, World T20 2016, Group 2, Nagpur March 14, 2016

Important to adapt to spin - Williamson


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'We can take the buzz from Indian crowd' - Ronchi

The last time New Zealand played a World T20 game, they crashed to 60 all out against Sri Lanka. Since that horror day in Chittagong, New Zealand are yet to play any match, in any format, in the subcontinent. In the two years since that nightmare against Rangana Herath, New Zealand have grown immeasurably in terms of confidence and experience, but their personnel remains largely the same, and their ability in spin-friendly conditions remains untested.

Kane Williamson is New Zealand's best player of spin, as he showed in that game by scoring 70% of their total, but seldom adds any spin to his public pronouncements. They are almost deliberately bland. On the eve of his side's World T20 opener against India, he dead-batted every question thrown at him.

"Yeah, whenever you play around the world, you need to adapt to different conditions," Williamson said, when asked about New Zealand's preparedness for Indian conditions. "We have been playing a bit of cricket at home, it is important that we make those adjustments coming into this tournament. We have had some good preparations in the UAE and in Mumbai as well. But at the same time, whichever ground you play around India, the conditions can be slightly different so we have to assess those again tomorrow."

Having watched some of the the first-round action from the ground, Williamson expected a slow turner at the VCA Stadium.

"We certainly are expecting spin to pay a big part in this tournament," he said. "I suppose, judging by the warm-up games in Mumbai, they had a bit for the seamers and it swung a little bit. They were very good surfaces but from what cricket we have seen here in Nagpur, spin looks likely to play a big part. It's important that we adjust our game plans accordingly."

Williamson is leading the side following the retirement of Brendon McCullum, who perhaps surprisingly chose to quit international cricket following the home series against Australia even though the World T20 was only a few weeks. Williamson refused to divulge his views on the timing of McCullum's exit.

"I suppose we were certainly fortunate to have Brendon leading us and being in the side for as long as we had him and I guess, in a way, there is no great time for him to walk away with all the good that he is doing," Williamson said. "But it's part and parcel of anything you do that it comes to an end and there's so many other priorities in Brendon's life and we certainly wish Brendon well. He is very close to this side still and he has got a little bit of cricket left to play in some of the T20 competitions around the world, which is exciting for him, but I know he will be watching us closely."

New Zealand will be playing for the first time since the death of Martin Crowe, their greatest ever batsman and a mentor to Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill. Williamson said the team would wear black armbands and observe a minute's silence before Tuesday's match.

"In the match tomorrow, we will be showing our respects by wearing black armbands and I believe after the anthems, there will be a moment where there will be a pause, so that will be a special time of recognition on behalf of the side," he said. "Some blokes in the side, they were very close to Martin, and I guess they will deal with it in their own way throughout the tournament and throughout the cricket that is coming up. He was a big part of their lives as a cricketer and as a person. It's just the process that you get through when something significant like this happens."

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sunny on March 15, 2016, 13:08 GMT

    @SCIWI which green seamer? there was only some bounce which is normal on that pitch. Wankhede did not help India either. Inexplicably too flat and without the slowness of other tracks. It is a bad choice for a warmup. But might help in the semi finals. unless the curator rectifies his mistake.

  • Sunny on March 15, 2016, 13:05 GMT

    @STRATOCASTER that sledging incident is exactly the moment I was referring to. It did make headlines then.Almost every team including has such heated onfield moments.

  • Vijay on March 15, 2016, 7:34 GMT

    Kiwi will bat first, score 145~155. India easily chased down. So it will be one sided match....just wait

  • Muhammad on March 15, 2016, 6:57 GMT

    kiwi will win today for sure they hv outstanding batting order and bowler are perfect so let's see the result tonight go on kiwi gl

  • faiz on March 15, 2016, 6:35 GMT

    kiwis are a strong team. they lack spin in bowling and batting against spin. India will not be able to make a big total against them . 140 to 150. the question is can the kiwis chase it down.

  • Lakpriya on March 15, 2016, 6:09 GMT

    NZ have a good young outfit. but given the conditions and the other teams in their group. hard to see them go beyond the group stage. either way hoping for some good cricket from the black caps. i think they will surely miss BMac.

  • Stratocaster on March 15, 2016, 3:05 GMT

    @SNGOMES Uhm so what? Mills sledged Du Plessis that's all. Du Plessis then shoved him off to which Vettori and Taylor asked him to stay away. Run Out wasn't controversial at all. It was clean as.

  • Mohanapriya Asaithambi on March 15, 2016, 2:35 GMT

    India handles pressure well. whatever the outcome of this match India will lift world cup

  • roger on March 15, 2016, 1:02 GMT

    After India , NZ and SA ( just because of great cricketers like AB and Amla) are to watch in this tournament. The first game between Ind Vs Nz is a treat to watch can't wait and of course perfect time of 10 AM. Have a nice breakfast and sit by 9:45 with a cup of coffee.

  • Sunny on March 14, 2016, 23:08 GMT

    @COOLJACK_143 that is harsh. It is more the fans of some teams who cause the real problems needling each other. As for teams even NZ have had their controversial moments on the cricket field. remember the run out in the 2011 world cup QF against SA?

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