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Williamson confirms Seifert coming in as New Zealand eye double

Team treating it as just another game to win, says captain

Deivarayan Muthu
Kane Williamson congratulates his hero of the evening, Daryl Mitchell, after the win, England vs New Zealand, T20 World Cup, 1st semi-final, Abu Dhabi, November 10, 2021

Kane Williamson congratulates Daryl Mitchell after the semi-final  •  ICC via Getty

Five months after winning the inaugural World Test Championship in Southampton, New Zealand are now one step away from clinching their first ever T20 World Cup trophy. Captain Kane Williamson is excited at that prospect but made it clear that New Zealand aren't getting ahead of themselves.
"It'd be some achievement [doing the double]," Williamson said at the pre-final press conference. "But where it stands at the moment is there's a game of cricket to play and for us it's focusing on that and focusing on our cricket and looking to go out there and implement the things that are important to us. These sort of events are of focus in the calendar and it's a really exciting opportunity to be here now and looking forward to the match tomorrow."
New Zealand will be without wicketkeeper-batter Devon Conway who suffered a self-inflicted hand injury during the semi-final against England. Williamson confirmed that Tim Seifert, who has played all of one game in the main tournament, will step back into the XI to replace Conway.
Seifert trained along with Conway, two days out of the final, and brings with him the experience of being part of the Trinbago Knight Riders XI in a CPL final (2020) and a Kolkata Knight Riders squad in an IPL final (2021).
"There's a good sort of mix of youth and experience," Williamson said. "Some of the younger players - they keep coming through in all teams. [They] love to hit the ball out of the park and [are] really exciting talents and someone like Tim Seifert coming in is very much like that. Obviously, the loss of Devon is a big one. He's been a big part of all formats for us and a disappointing and really freak thing to happen but for us, it's keeping our focus on the task."
The presence of Conway in New Zealand's middle order could have denied Australia's legspinner a match-up against a sequence of right-handers. Zampa has been in outstanding form in this T20 World Cup, bagging 12 wickets since the Super 12s at an economy rate of just 5.69.
When Australia and New Zealand played each other at the Tolerance Oval in a warm-up match, Zampa picked up 2 for 17 in his four overs. Williamson was wary of the threat posed by Zampa but said that it will not distract them from executing their own plans.
"Adam Zampa is a world-class bowler and one of the top [bowlers] in the world and complemented nicely by obviously some of the top seamers in the world," Williamson said. "As a side, they've got a lot of match-winners and that's a large part of their strength in their team. They've got world-class cricketers throughout. For us, we want to bring our focus to the cricket we want to play and make sure that's the most important thing. And go out there and enjoy the occasion and take it on in our style."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo