Williamson left out of New Zealand T20 squad

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 15:51 07/01/2014
Kane Williamson
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LEFT OUT: Kane Williamson must improve his Twenty20 game.

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Kane Williamson knows he needs to improve his Twenty20 skills after being omitted from the New Zealand squad for the two-match series with the West Indies.

Williamson and veteran seamer Kyle Mills have been left out of the 14-man squad for the T20 matches in Auckland on Saturday and Wellington next Wednesday.

The pair will instead play in the domestic T20 competition with the duo set to go head-to-head in Hamilton on Friday night, when Williamson's Northern Knights hosts Mills' Auckland Aces at Seddon Park in a crucial round-robin encounter.

''For T20, my focuses are wanting to improve in that area and ultimately be playing all three formats,'' Williamson said today ahead of tomorrow's final ODI in Hamilton.

''But I do recognise there is room for improvement there,'' he said.

''It's kind of been tough in some ways because you're away so much with the international duties that you struggle to play even domestic Twenty20s at times.''

New Zealand Cricket selection boss Bruce Edgar said the selectors wanted to take a consistent approach to the limited-overs squads.

"We are keen to keep this group together but are mindful of the strong performances from a number of other players including Hamish Rutherford and Anton Devcich,'' Edgar said.

"We are fortunate to be in a position to have a range of quality players to choose from."

New Zealand lead the one-day series 2-1 with one match being rained out and Williamson said the hosts wanted to continue a run of good form after losing the opening ODI in Auckland on Boxing Day.

''We're just looking to build on previous performances,'' Edgar said after New Zealand comfortably beat the Windies in rain-shortened games in Queenstown and Nelson last week.

''The performance in Nelson was a pretty good all-round performance which was pleasing, but it's important to try and bring consistency to our one-day game.''

Yet he felt a series win wasn't the most important thing for the side.

''I wouldn't call it the main focus," he added.

''Obviously for it to happen would be great and it would be celebrated, but I think it's very much about building on previous performances so this one-day unit becomes more consistent.''

The Windies have been plagued with injury problems and legspinner Samuel Badree, all-rounder Andre Russell and batsman Andre Fletcher - who arrived ahead of the T20 series - may be part of the one-day squad tomorrow.

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The New Zealand squad for the ODI series against India starting on January 19 in Napier will be named next Wednesday.

New Zealand squad for the Twenty20 Series against the West Indies: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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