New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Hamilton December 17, 2015

Swing could be bigger factor than seam - Williamson

Kane Williamson has revealed he is playing the series with a finger injury © Getty Images

The grass on the Seddon Park surface promises plenty of seam movement, but it is swing through the air that may define the match, Kane Williamson has said. Significant grass cover remained on the pitch on the eve of the match, but Williamson, who plays for Northern Districts on this ground, suggested batsmen should be just as wary of swing, bounce and carry, as there may be less deviation off the deck than expected.

"We've played on the surface a lot, and it always is green," Williamson said. "In fact every surface we play on here starts very green. I think it will be a good cricket surface but if it swings, that's when it offers more to the bowlers. We played a first-class game here a wee while back before Australia, and it was very green, but it was more the swing that did a lot.

"If it's hard underneath, that might add a bit of pace into the surface. I'm sure it will be pretty tough early on, and it might offer something throughout, with the hard new ball."

Williamson, who has played for Gloucestershire in the past, likened the surface to a county cricket pitch. He was wary of over-adapting to the conditions based on the look of the pitch alone.

"The appearance of the pitch can be a distraction sometimes," he said. "Like on a spinning wicket, sometimes it's the straight ball that gets you out. It's important to get your head around that philosophy on a seaming wicket. If you completely change your game, sometimes you overthink it.

"We don't know what it will do, but it reminds me of English conditions - especially if it swings here. In English county cricket those conditions are there day in and day out. You have to adjust your game slightly to best cope with it, but you will get good balls and that's the nature of the game. Hopefully from our side's perspective, if we apply ourselves I'm sure there are runs to be had out there."

Williamson was indifferent about his own outstanding returns in 2015, a year in which he averages 88.58, but did reveal he is currently playing with a finger injury. Williamson had fielded in his customary gully position only briefly during the second innings, and said there may be a break in his finger, but he hasn't yet found out.

"You get a few knocks on the fingers and when it doesn't get hit, it settles a little bit and gets a bit less sensitive. It's just quite sore. I don't think many people play at 100% every day, and that's the nature of professional sport."

New Zealand are one win or draw away from equaling their record 13 straight undefeated home Tests. Williamson said the team were not focused on that accolade. They were instead concentrating on Sri Lanka, whom he expected to present a tougher challenge in Hamilton, having now had more time to acclimatise in New Zealand.

"The home streak is a good stat, but I suppose we keep bringing it back to one game at a time, and wanting to play our best cricket. We come here and focus on those short-term things. Hopefully the win looks after itself. It's important we keep bringing it back to the basics.

"I'm sure Sri Lanka would have learned a lot and it should be a good game."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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  • Dawood on December 17, 2015, 5:47 GMT

    Playing New Zealand in their condition is one of the most tough tasks in the game. Though all the team get home advantages but the condition in New Zealand has been always something different.

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