Kane Williamson has never led New Zealand in a major 50-over ICC tournament. His first will be the ICC Champions Trophy which begins on June 1 in England. Williamson, who took over captaincy from Brendon McCullum in 2016, believes that the tournament doesn’t allow slip-ups.
“Any time you have those experiences against opponents you are coming up against in similar conditions, it is the same side too, it is only a good thing,” he said. “But you don’t tend to look too much into it in tournaments like this – it is a one-off game and both teams will be playing with freedom and hope it comes off. But there is not much time for slip-ups or conservative cricket.”
Williamson was referrin to a bilateral series between England and New Zealand in which the Black Caps were leading 2-1 in the five-match series but lost 3-2. Both teams have been drawn in the same group with Australia and Bangladesh.
“It is such an interesting tournament because it is such a short tournament,” Williamson said. “On any given day things can happen that might be out of your control and it can go one way or the other, so we have to hit the ground running. It is a very interesting tournament having played in it before and everyone is a real contender so you need to play with freedom, be prepared to take the game and hope things land in your favour.”
New Zealand will play India in a warm-up game and then face Australia in their first game of the tournament on June 2 in Edgbaston. They will take on England in Cardiff on June 6 before finishing the gourp stage with a match against Bangladesh on June 9, again in Cardiff.
Many of New Zealand’s players were part of the Indian Premier League and captain Williamson believes that it is always useful to be part of the league.
“The exposure and learning that can be done there, it is a huge tournament so the more the merrier. It is a great competition to be part of and we push for as many players as we can to be involved in the IPL,” he said.
New Zealand best result in Champions Trophy came back in 2000 when they beat India to win the trophy. They finished runners-up in 2009 when they lost to Australia in the final.