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World Test Championships: New Zealand await ‘fantastic challenge’

The team will meet India in the WTC final in Southampton from June 18
Kane Williamson.
Kane Williamson.
File photo

Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 19.05.21, 02:22 AM

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is relishing the opportunity to play the World Test Championships (WTC) final next month as he considers showdowns against Virat Kohli’s men to be a “fantastic challenge”.

India and New Zealand meet in the WTC final in Southampton from June 18.

“When we play against India, it has always been a fantastic challenge and so it is really exciting to be playing against them,” Williamson said in a video posted by the ICC on its Twitter handle.

“It’s really, really exciting to be involved in the final, obviously to win it would be that much better,” said the 30-year-old, considered one of the best batsmen in the world.

Talking about the Championship, Williamson said: “We saw the contests in the WTC has brought real excitement.

“...the games were really tight such as in the India-Australia series and our series against Pakistan as well where you had to really fight hard to get the results, which is really great.”

New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner admitted India possess fast bowlers who can exploit the English conditions but said the wickets can change anytime and become flat.

“India have a lot of quality fast bowlers who have done well in different conditions, they can swing (the ball) under overcast conditions, but when the sun comes out it is flat and nothing happens,” Wagner said. “Conditions can change throughout and so I am not getting carried away too much, trying to control the controllables.”

India batsman Hanuma Vihari, who is in England for a County stint with Warwickshire, said it would be a great feeling to play in the WTC final.

“I am excited but I would want to be in that moment and not to get too much carried away by the importance of the situation,” said the 27-year-old batsman.

The majority of the New Zealand players have reached the UK as they play a two-match series against England starting June 2. The Indians are expected to reach London in the first week of June after a hard quarantine in Mumbai from Thursday.

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