Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, has said that the decision to make Kane Williamson captain in the second Twenty20 international against West Indies was done with an eye on next year's World Cup. Williamson's previous stint as captain had also come against West Indies, when he replaced an injured Ross Taylor for three ODIs and a T20 during the 2012 tour.
"Look, it's something that, if we get to the World Cup and we have an incident, we need to make sure Kane's up to speed," Hesson said. "Today was an opportunity for us, in a slightly lesser pressure situation, to give him that opportunity and we still put a decent side out on the park instead of playing without Brendon. It's a good experience for him. It's one of those areas that we need to ensure we've got covered come World Cup time."
Williamson led a side that included Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, but New Zealand failed to chase down a target of 166, losing by 39 runs. One of the factors on which Hesson pinned the loss was the failure of the bowlers to control runs in the middle overs.
"We weren't sharp with the ball in the middle overs," he said. "I don't think we assessed the conditions quite as well as we could have, whereas yesterday we were outstanding in that area. With the bat, it's key for one of our top order to go on and make a big score. The fact that the wicket got slower and turned and bounced a bit, we needed a guy who was set. That we kept losing wickets throughout made it more difficult for us."
The T20s capped off a memorable tour for New Zealand as they claimed an overseas Test series win over a top-eight country in 12 years. Hesson said that while the Test series win was a highlight, the performance of the players in the T20s was also pleasing.
"You don't want to finish on a loss, but overall, it's been a great tour for us," Hesson said. "We came over here a couple of years ago and got turned over. The fact that we won a Test series away from home was a big achievement for us and to be fair, disappointed with today but 1-1 in a T20 series, we certainly showed some good skills and players stood up, so overall really pleased."