Kane Williamson 'excited' for New Zealand's return to international cricket

Denzil Pinto 20:21 30/10/2018
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New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will be hoping his men can dust off the cobwebs when they take on Pakistan in the first T20 of the three-match series at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The Blackcaps have not played any international cricket since the completion of the Test series against England at the start of April this year.

“There is a lot of cricket being played in different competitions and also the guys have had some cricket but it’s an unusually long time between internationals,” the Kiwi skipper said on the eve of the clash.

“I guess it makes the guys very excited to get back involved and it is a great country to come to and play cricket against Pakistan, who are one of the strongest teams in the world at the moment.”

Williamson, however, knows that taking on the No1 T20-ranked Pakistan in their ‘home’ ground will not be an easy task given how easily they dismantled Australia in the preceding series.

“Obviously Pakistan are a strong side. That’s something we’ve known for a long time. The last time we played against them was at home in New Zealand and it was a tough series,” said Williamson.

“Coming over here, they are extremely strong in these conditions. Their rankings suggest that as well. They have had a lot of success in the format in recent times,” he added.

“We know it’s a tough challenge and one that we are looking forward to.”

The Blackcaps will have to make do without the services of experienced opener Martin Guptill for the series, but Williamson is backing the other players to step up in his absence.

“It’s a shame we don’t have Martin for this series. He’s obviously is a world class player for us and a big performer but it also provides the opportunities for some other guys mentioned, the guys who have come from the New Zealand A team, and that’s the nature of it.”

The Kiwis have handed all-rounder Corey Anderson a recall for the series along with batsman Glenn Phillips. Uncapped spinner Ajaz Patel is the newest addition to their T20 squad.

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