Kane Williamson hopes middle-order fires in India vs New Zealand series

Kane Williamson is hoping that an inexperienced New Zealand middle order combat spin twins of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as they aim to win a series against Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 21, 2017 18:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs New Zealand,India cricket team,New Zealand cricket team
Kane Williamson’s New Zealand cricket team have an inexperienced middle order, following injuries to Corey Anderson and the retirement of Luke Ronchi.(PTI)

While New Zealand have a balanced bowling attack and strong top-order, the composition of the middle-order will have skipper Kane Williamson sweating. With all-rounder Corey Anderson injured, Jimmy Neesham dropped due to poor form and Luke Ronchi having retired, New Zealand are left with a relatively inexperienced middle-order.

They are looking to fit opener Tom Latham at No 5, flanking Mitchell Santner and Colin de Grandhomme. It increases the pressure on veteran Ross Taylor to hold the innings together.

Kane Williamson is hoping Latham and Co live up to the challenge in the ODI series where negotiating Indian wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the middle overs will be the key.

“Look, we’ve got a relatively new middle order, some guys with injuries, some guys with some good opportunities that certainly deserve their position, and it’s exciting. These guys were here on the A tour and experienced these conditions for a while coming into the series, which is always good. There are a number of areas you look at coming into the series, but that’s not sort of specific.

“It is just important we all look to play to our plan as best as we can, and we know doing that, we will contribute to what a good total is, whether we bat first or chase, and adjust to the situations as well,” said Williamson.

India have been on the rampage, demolishing all opposition in their backyard. The New Zealand captain declared there are no illusions his team needed to play their best cricket, but is deriving confidence from his team’s fighting show in the last series here.

“We know that at home in particular they are the strongest team in the world. We saw in the last series here that we were two-all going into the decider, which was a fairly good effort, although we knew that perhaps we hadn’t played our best and it was shame in that last game (in Visakhapatnam). It will be nice to come out in this series and do a little bit better.”

Talking about lessons learnt from their five matches played last October, the NZ captain said it was about adjusting to the conditions.

“You have to skin it in another way (on slower wickets, compared to pace-friendly pitches in New Zealand). It is important to adapt and sometimes play the long game even in one-day cricket because if you can build pressure on some of those surfaces, and that can help you take wickets, because we know that in one-day cricket or any format, taking wickets is really important.”

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 18:40 IST