New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson stated that while the team is pretty psyched to play the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India, the team is currently focusing on the upcoming two-match Test series against England.
The Blackcaps’ squad, which is presently in quarantine, will begin their tour of the UK with two Tests against the Three Lions before proceeding to face India in the WTC final in Southampton.
The first Test will be played at the Lord’s Cricket Stadium from June 2 while Edbaston in Birmingham will host the second Test from June 10. Speaking ahead of the series, Williamson said:
“I haven’t really looked at it like it’s lead-in time. The first challenge, which is the first Test against a very strong side, is what we need to be focusing on, and I know as a group that is what we will be talking about,” Williamson was quoted as telling ICC’s official website.
The 30-year-old, despite admitting that facing England in their own backyard will be a massive challenge, said that the team is excited over the prospect of playing three Tests in a short span of time.
“There is a lot of excitement in the camp and we always know how tough the challenge is coming over and playing against England in their own backyard. I know all the players are really excited about that challenge,” he added.
“For us, it is a progression thing that is important. In three Tests there is every opportunity to do that. We know we are up against some really tough challenges but I know the guys are really excited to face those. The first step is getting out and preparing for it,” he stated.
The Kiwi skipper further praised the veteran England pace bowling duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have been named in England’s 15-man squad for the series against New Zealand. He stated that the duo could be a threat to the Kiwis, as they know the conditions better than anyone.
“They are legends of the game, still playing and doing as well as they ever have done. They know these conditions better than anyone. They’ve had incredible careers that are still going and they are still at the heights of their games,” he concluded.