New Zealand's quest in the World Cup 2019 extravaganza begins today in the first game of the day against Sri Lanka at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. The Kiwis reached the finals of the 2015 edition of the tournament only to be beaten by joint hosts Australia in a one-sided contest. Four years down the lane, the times have changed, the game has transformed significantly and the Kane Williamson-led team is also ready to put behind the so called 'dark horses' tag.
We're just excited to get involved
On the eve of the game against Sri Lanka, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson addressed the media reporters and revealed that his team is pretty much excited for the event. He admitted the fact that there are teams in this competition who are ranked higher and are probably the favourites as well in these conditions. Williamson stressed on the importance of being competitive day in and day out.
“We’re just excited to get involved. We know that there are sides ranked higher and are favorites in these conditions, but once again, it’s about us playing the sort of cricket that we want to be playing and showing those sort of attributes, characteristics, that are really important to us as a side to try and be a competitive side day in and day out. When we are that, we know we can beat anybody,” quoted Kane Williamson.
This Sri Lankan side is a little bit different
The Kiwi skipper stated that no team can be taken lightly in this tournament and it is essential to treat all the matches in a similar manner. He noted that they are focussing only on the type of cricket they want to play in the quadrennial event. He mentioned that this Sri Lankan team is slightly different to which they played at home earlier this year.
“We know in this competition that any team can beat any of the other teams, so we’re certainly treating all our matches like that. We want to bring the focus back to the cricket we want to play day in and day out. Naturally when you go through the tournament you play one country and you might have two or three days, play another country on another surface, and you’re trying to, I guess, stay up-to-date with the different I suppose plans that you’re adjusting with the different opposition,” Williamson mentioned.
“But our focus is much about the cricket that we want to play. We know the Sri Lankan side is a little bit different to the one we played at home, but we have no doubt they’re a tough side,” he added.
Williamson revealed that he hasn't seen the Cardiff wicket as of yet. However, he did mention that there was a grass covering on the track a day before. “I haven’t actually seen the wicket just yet. I’ve come of the bus and just came straight here. Had a little look yesterday. Obviously a bit of a green tinge, but maybe with a bit of warm weather potentially may change a little bit. We haven’t practiced yet, so have a little look when we go out for a warm up,” the Kiwi skipper furthered.
While speaking about the injury concerns, Williamson said, “Yeah, so fairly exciting for Tom. He’s progressed nicely and will be available tomorrow, which is great news. He’s very much looking forward to that. Yeah, Munro is fine with his niggle. And Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls have some minor niggles as well, and that’s why we can’t quite name our team today.”