Kane Williamson feels the Blackcaps have put the events of the 2019 World Cup final firmly behind them as they gear up to face India in the summit clash of the World Test Championship. The skipper stated the team is focused on getting up to speed ahead of the marquee event.
New Zealand have returned to England for the first time since they agonisingly lost the 2019 World Cup final to Eoin Morgan’s men on the boundary count rule. Many believe that the Blackcaps won’t have fond memories of the country where they lost it all.
Speaking to the ICC, Kane Williamson refuted such suggestions, explaining how the team is instead locked in on getting used to red-ball cricket.
“No, I do not think so, certainly not something that the guys have spoken about. I guess being a different side really with a different format as well. The focus is definitely on the transition from not playing much cricket or from where the guys who have played white-ball cricket to just change into that Test format but hopefully there is still a great atmosphere for that game,” Williamson claimed.
New Zealand famously lost the enthralling 2019 World Cup final to England almost two years ago, with the match going right down to the wire.
New Zealand’s inability to win ICC tournaments has been highlighted over the years, with the World Test Championship Final offering another opportunity for Kane Williamson and Co. to etch their name into the record books.
The India vs England clash takes place at The Rose Bowl in Southampton on June 18. Kane Williamson wants the showpiece event to be as entertaining as the 2019 final.
“The match you mentioned was a very memorable one and obviously it had some controversy and it had everything, and people loved watching it, at the end of the day. That is why people got a lot out of it. Hopefully, it is a great spectacle, and we get a decent crowd, and it is a really good game!” Kane Williamson hoped.
Kane Williamson coy on team selection
New Zealand are currently in the midst of a two-Test series against England, with their playing eleven for the WTC final all but settled. One of the few remaining slots is at No. 7 – the Kiwis have the option of playing spin or pace-bowling all-rounders there.
Colin de Grandhomme got the nod in that position for the first Test, but Kane Williamson kept his cards close to his chest ahead of the big event.
“Yeah, I guess we will have to assess conditions and make those decisions. That is obviously what we try and do every time, whenever we get to a different venue and work out what might suit us. Cards are on the table, I guess,” Kane Williamson concluded.
It will be interesting to see the direction New Zealand go in during the final. With India also having the choice of fielding multiple players in the No. 7 slot, how the two teams approach their selection could be the difference between victory and defeat in a few weeks.