Playing high-profile series within days of the World Cup is nothing new for New Zealand. Last year, within hours of playing the T20 World Cup final against Australia in Dubai, he was on his way to India for the T20I series.
This year, they had an “extra day or two” after losing the semi-final to Pakistan. The only difference this time is, he will play at home against India, the first of three T20Is starting on Friday in Wellington.
“Being so young, you see a lot of potential and talent and getting more cricket under his belt will only help him grow and continue his upward trend as a player. He is looking forward to this series as well. Definitely comes out with the intention to play very aggressively and play his game, very confident in how he wants to go about it. Watch this. It’s been great and I’m sure it will continue.”
“Obviously with the dynamic scenario we’re dealing with right now, the players have made a number of different decisions,” Williamson said. “Trent, being a big part of our team, has done that. Although available, he’s got other things to focus on going forward. And it’s really important for us to build and grow as a team. Yes, but it’s all a bit new and there’s a lot to learn over the next period, but Trent is obviously a big part of the New Zealand cricket environment and for a long time. I think learning and understanding that is a The important thing will be how it looks in the next period.”
“Adam Millen has been a really strong performer over the years, unfortunately there have been some injuries along the way,” Williamson said. “He’s a very talented athlete when fully fit and diving. It’s great to have him in the team, he’s ready to go, a great addition. Blair Tickner has been more involved in a number of formats over the last few years, So the bowling depth is reasonably strong and it’s nice to see some of them get some opportunities.”
Elsewhere, choosing Mitchell Santner as the only front-line spinner in their ODI squad (although they also have all-rounder Michael Bracewell), New Zealand set the course for their horses as they progress through the series. Have a look. Williamson explained, “I’ve always believed that focusing on what’s in front of you is a really good place to start in terms of preparation, and as you go along, You’ll start to change that focus.” “Tournament play, as we have seen in the T20 World Cup, you have to adjust and look at the pivot and make those changes quickly.
“It takes a lot of planning, as a team, to focus on projects that are important to you in terms of making progress and trending in the right direction. In terms of trying to do that.”
On a personal level, Williamson seemed quite happy with where his fitness is, having battled a nagging elbow injury for more than two years. He reiterated his focus and drive to be involved in all three formats at the moment, even though New Zealand have just finished a T20 World Cup cycle.
“The elbow is improving, of course it took a long time but I am feeling much better now,” he said. “I think as a player, things usually change in life and when you get further down, you always try to make decisions based on making sure you stay fresh.
“I definitely love playing all formats and the challenges that bring, and with such a large volume of cricket, there’s a balance to strike. Maybe less in terms of specific formats, in terms of what you do. How to manage your time. To the best of your ability. There’s a lot and it’s for a lot of players around the world. There’s a need to make sure there’s freshness and balance.”
Shashank Kishor is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.