You tweet in an unfiltered way. Not many athletes do that.
I don't really see the point of filtering things too much. There are times when your opinion is not popular and you have to tone down a little bit. But I think the more you are yourself, the easier it is to get on with daily life.

Who is the second-best cricketer at Twitter, who you follow?
A lot of people tweet me saying Virender Sehwag is quite good, but a lot of his stuff I can't understand because it's not in English. A lot of Indians tell me I am the second funniest behind him.

Which cricketer would you would pay to watch?
I will pay to watch AB de Villiers. You don't really pay to watch a lot of international cricketers if you are an international cricketer because it is a little hard to go in the stands and watch with the members of the public. It can get a little inconvenient, for obvious reasons.

"If a person has a very tidy, trimmed, well-maintained beard, he probably is more conscious of how he comes across to other people. And you have guys like Kane, who just lets it run wild. He doesn't really care what everyone else thinks of his beard"

One match you did watch from the stands, with de Villiers playing, was the 2015 World Cup semi-final.
It was a crazy experience. I actually wasn't going to go to the game. And then one of my friends who I knew through media work had a pass in a private area, so I could watch the match from a private room and not have to deal with the kerfuffle that goes on with that sort of situation. But it was a really special evening for New Zealand cricket.

"Holy f****** shitballs this is the best day of my life." - you wrote, sitting in the third tier immediately after Grant Elliott hit the winning shot in that semi-final.
It was a pretty authentic reaction to what was happening at the time. Just like most of the rest of the nation, I certainly got swept up a little bit with the passion of the moment. It was deleted later for obvious reasons.

Why?
There were some naughty words in there which I did not want to repeat. I try to stay away from those kinds of things. As I said I got a little bit excited, clearly.

What quiz question do you most fancy being in?
A few friends of mine do public quizzes and they say this one: "Who was at the other end when Brendon McCullum scored his triple-hundred?" Seems to be a reasonably popular one.

You hit a hundred in that Test. On the morning when McCullum walked out to bat in the 290s, he said he was feeling really nervous. But once he got to the pitch, you looked around and said, "Gee, I didn't think so many people would turn up to see me score a hundred." McCullum said he started to laugh and felt a lot more clear-headed when play began. Do you remember that?
It was in the morning, during the warm-ups. Brendon was pretty fatigued and was sort of struggling to get up for the occasion. It is always nice to try and break the ice in a situation like that.

Now that McCullum has retired, can you tell us anything about him that was really annoying?
He'd never let you pay for anything. He always managed to find a way to sneak off in the middle of a meal and slip some notes to a waiter. You'd go to pay at the end of the meal and the waiter would say it's all been taken care of. A few of the lads have only just found out what a beer costs since he's retired!

What about his superstition about not changing bat grips?
Yes, he did not like to change his grip in the middle of an innings. During the 300, when he batted for two and a half days, every time he ripped his grip he would wrap strapping tape around it. A little bit of repair on the fly. And by the time he got to 290 on the fifth morning, his bat had probably more strapping tape than grip, so it was more difficult for him to get bat on ball.

If you had to conceal something inside your bat what would you carry in it?
Ah jeez! Something that will make the ball go a bit further would be quite useful, but that is obviously illegal. Maybe some sort of speaker so I can listen to some music while I am in the middle batting.

Can you learn anything about a cricketer from the beard he sports?
You can learn a lot. If a person has a very tidy, trimmed well-maintained beard, he probably is more conscious of how he comes across to other people. If you have guys like Kane [Williamson] who just lets it run wild, he doesn't really care what everyone else thinks of his beard. I think it can show a little bit of a window to a person's conscience.

"Brendon would never let you pay for anything. He always managed to find a way to sneak off in the middle of a meal and slip some notes to a waiter"

Is there anything that Williamson can't do with the bat in hand?
He is always trying to explore new shots in training. If he does see a shot that he can't play, it will only take him a couple of weeks to sort.

Why are guys like McCullum and Williamson good at what they do?
Brendon was much more explosive. He could come out and dominate anyone on his day. His attitude was: get 'em before they get me. Try and take bowlers down. Kane plays more of a waiting game, wears the opposition bowlers down, and his record is second to none in all formats of the game. The main thing I have learned from playing under both of them is that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Use your own method and success will come once you are true to yourself.

Are you patient as a player?
I don't think I am, really. That is one of the things that I probably struggle with a little bit in Test cricket - trying to find a natural tempo to play at. My natural game is being more aggressive. In the last few months I have watched guys like David Warner, Virat Kohli, and Kane to a certain extent, who go out and still play quite aggressively in Test cricket. And now I realise you can play aggressively in the longer format of the game.

What is your favourite stroke?
There is nothing better than a hook shot. When a fast bowler comes in and tries to dig it in short and a batsman just stands tall and hooks it away. Something like what Kevin Pietersen used to play is the best shot to watch.

You are being talked about as a Test allrounder. How good do you think you are?
You have to think you are one of the best going around to succeed in the international game. I have been hindered by a back injury in the last couple of years. But having come back and played county cricket [for Derbyshire], I still believe if I am putting my best foot forward in both departments, then I am one of the handful of the best allrounders in the world. And hopefully over the next six months or so I can begin to prove that on the field with results, because you can think of yourself as much as you want, but that doesn't really count unless you can put the numbers on the board.

What is one cliché you want commentators to cut out?
The one that most annoys me is when commentators talk about pulling off the front foot. Any pull shot is off the front foot by definition. So when the batsman pulls off the front foot and the commentator says he is taking the bowler on, I find that really strange.

How exactly do you plan to tackle R Ashwin on Indian pitches?
He is a high-quality bowler, a top-ten bowler at the moment, and in his own conditions he will be a big challenge. But we have got some pretty good players of spin in our top order. We have been talking of ways to combat him. But I certainly won't be giving away my plans here.

You have already wondered why airports don't have hairdressers. What about hotel rooms?
It would be quite nice if hotels had Netflix in the rooms.

What if you could introduce a new Law in the game?
I would quite like to see what would happen if there were no rules on ball-tampering. If you could just do whatever you wanted to the ball. That would probably make Test cricket more interesting. It could make more tedious sessions more exciting with the ball reversing more.

What about cricket at the Olympics?
I think the ICC should be doing everything within their power to get cricket into the Olympics. One of our main aims as a sport should be expanding playing numbers throughout the world, and the Olympic Games is a perfect way to achieve this.

What has cricket taught you so far?
Cricket has taught me that you can't get too down during the bad times. Everyone through their career has their highs and their lows, struggle mentally and physically. If you can continue to take one day at a time and not get too disillusioned by your failures then you will probably have a lot more fun, a lot more play, a lot more success than failures.