Nature of the beast: Williamson on packed scheduling ahead of India series

Important to understand and learn from the moving landscape says the New Zealand skipper

Published: 16th November 2022 12:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2022 12:24 AM   |  A+A-

Any opportunity and the occasion to play India at home is always special: Kane Williamson.

Express News Service
CHENNAI: For the second time in as many years, New Zealand and India will be playing a white-ball series immediately after the T20 World Cup. Having reached the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup, the Blackcaps had 48 hours before taking the field against India in Jaipur for a T20I series. Thanks to their semifinal defeat against Pakistan this year, New Zealand have had a week's time before their next assignment.

While not amused by the schedule, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said that it is what is, calling it the nature of the beast. Speaking ahead of the first T20I in Wellington on Friday, Williamson said that both the teams are aware of the challenges. “There are a number of players in the Indian side who are resting. They have brought in other players, clearly they see the challenges being faced with such a tight schedule. It’s sort of the nature of the beast,” he said in an interaction facilitated by Prime Video.

“Last year, being in the tournament for a little bit longer, the turnaround was quicker. This time, maybe there were a couple of more days, but that’s sort of how the schedule is really. Not just the World Cup, the schedule prior has been busy for everybody and I suppose after major events, there is an opportunity, sometimes to rest to have a few days to relax and then you come back as a group. But as we know, the schedule is full, any opportunity and the occasion to play India at home is always special,” he added.

It is not just New Zealand and India. Reigning white-ball champions England will have no time to celebrate their success. Three days after their victory in the final, England will be taking on Australia in a three-match ODI series starting Thursday, which is not even a part of the ICC ODI Super league. They will finish their tour to Australia, which began with three T20Is on October 9, in the same ground where they won the World Cup on November 22.

Unsurprisingly, it has had an impact on the players as well. With the packed international calendar and franchise-based leagues, players, too, have started to prioritise which tournament they want to play. Citing the scheduling, Australia's Pat Cummins has pulled out of IPL 2023. Earlier in August, left-arm pacer Trent Boult asked to release him of the central contract with New Zealand Cricket. And now, Boult, an integral part of the T20 World Cup campaign, has not been picked for the white-ball series against India.

“Obviously with a moving landscape like we're presented with at the moment, players have made a number of different decisions and Trent being a big part of our team, has done that. So, there's an opportunity at the moment with other guys on the fringe to get some opportunities. And for us, building a team and growing as a team is really important, but it's all still very new as well. So yeah, I think it's going to be an important thing to learn and get an understanding for how it looks over the next period,” said Williamson.

India vs New Zealand white-ball series will be streamed live on Prime Video from November 18.


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