We don’t regard ourselves as favorites: Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson lifts his bat in celebration of his century. (Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has underlined the fact that the Kiwis are not favorites in the upcoming tour against South Africa. Although New Zealand have been in fine form of late and South Africa’s ageing squad has seen the latter fall off the pace in the past couple of series against England and India respectively.

The official rankings have seen Williamson’s New Zealand in fifth spot, two spots ahead of their opponents who are languishing in the seventh spot. In spite of that, Williamson has opted to keep his feet on the ground. Moreover, the fact that New Zealand has never won a Test series against South Africa since 1981 will also play heavily on the minds of both sides.

“I don’t think we regard ourselves as favourites. We know that South Africa are always a strong opposition, regardless of the rankings. You are constantly playing in different conditions and different countries all the time so adapting is part of the international game. For us the focus is on playing our cricket,” Williamson said on Thursday (August 18).

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The New Zealand skipper also chose to overlook the fact that the Proteas would be severely depleted for the match. AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel will be missing from the side due to a few injury niggles they are facing at the moment.

“It doesn’t change the way we approach this match. We want to focus on how we play our best cricket. Any team that did have AB de Villiers and now doesn’t, it’s not a great thing for them. He’s the best player in the world so for them it’s a bit of a loss but at the same time, they’ve got a lot of depth. There’s so much talent in this country. Whatever team they pick will be a good team.”

The first Test of the two-match series will be played at Kingsmead, Durban.

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