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Nice to play the IPL ahead of Champions Trophy: Kane Williamson

Williamson has been a stable option for SRH at no.3 in the last few games.

Kane Williamson Sunrisers Hyderabad
Kane Williamson of the Sunrisers Hyderabad. (Photo: IANS)

The New Zealand national team skipper, Kane Williamson, feels it is good to be playing in the IPL ahead of next month’s ICC Champions Trophy. Williamson, who plays for the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, was initially benched for six games in a row. But when he got his chance, he grabbed it with both hands and showed the world that he is a multi-dimensional player who can perform well in any format of the game.

Speaking to the media, Williamson said that it is nice to be playing some cricket ahead of the major tournament next month. All his team-mates are preparing hard for the Champions Trophy which commences on 1st June. New Zealand are placed in the comparatively tougher group, with hosts England, Australia, and new entrants Bangladesh.

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During the press meet ahead of their game against Rising Pune Supergiant the Black Caps skipper said, “I think it’s just nice to play little bit of cricket in this tournament going into a major tournament like Champions Trophy. I suppose it is nice to play some cricket from my perspective personally.  The rest of the New Zealand squad is getting together back home for preparations for the Champions Trophy.”

Williamson acknowledged that it will be hard to stop the rampage by Rising Pune Supergiant, who are coming in after an away victory against Kolkata Knight Riders, but feel that his side is up for the challenge. “Every game is a real challenge. So, it is important to stay very grounded. We have been playing some good cricket, but so is Pune. It will really be a tough game. Every game is hard, so we need to try and play our best cricket,” he added.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have lost their winning momentum lately, as a result of which they have slipped to the 4th position in the points table, after a defending champion like start. They face the team who is sitting just ahead of them on 3rd, the Supergiant, on Saturday, May 6.

The New Zealand skipper has opted to skip the tri-series that the team will be playing against Ireland and Bangladesh, in order to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. His side has managed to win just one game out of the six away games, which is an area of concern.

Kane is still mourning over the loss against Delhi Daredevils, where his team failed to defend a comparative target of 185 runs. He said, “I suppose in the last game for the opposition to chase down 185 runs meant that they had to play really well. There are a couple of areas we want to improve on. But there was (were) lot of positives that we can take from that game and hopefully put into our next match.”

When asked if there is any extra pressure on the team this year, after they won the IPL for the first time in the previous edition and were termed as favourites this year, he said “We look at each game as an individual match. We want to play our best cricket and try to get those two points. Like I mentioned, we had a loss in Delhi but that can happen.In fact, no one’s gone unbeaten so far and it’s a very real thing particularly in Twenty20 cricket and it’s important we take that in our stride and look to move on,” he concluded.

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