Black Caps' keep focus on building momentum

16:08, Jan 07 2014
Kane Williamson
CUTTING EDGE: New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson wants his side to continue their momentum against the West Indies in Hamilton .

The West Indies series is not yet over but already the New Zealand cricket side's focus has switched to the tour by India and the World Cup.

At least, it has from outside the Black Caps camp. Within the squad, they're still toeing the one-match-at-a-time mantra, says Kane Williamson.

New Zealand can clinch victory in the five match one-day series with a win against the Windies in Hamilton today, while a win by the tourists would leave a rain-interrupted campaign tied 2-2.

With a touring side struck by injuries, unavailability and a lack of form, many Kiwi cricket fans are already looking ahead to the five one-dayers against India starting on January 19.

Taking that a large leap further, a lot of talk regarding the make-up and the performances of the NZ one-day side has been with the 2015 one-day World Cup competition - to be held in Australia and New Zealand - in mind.

That's not happening with the players, Williamson said.

"It's so far away that a lot can happen in that time," he said of the World Cup.

"There's a lot of one-day cricket until then, so you're looking to build and improve. To be a chance of winning that would be a great position to be in - obviously it's great when you're winning and you want to take confidence into the World Cup.

"But I guess as soon as the World Cup starts, it becomes a different beast and all that's in the past is in the past.

"If you can take confidence from it, that's great, but even sides that may have been beaten know that going into it you're all equal.

"The Windies will be disappointed but they know come World Cup time they'll probably have a lot of players back that can win them games by themselves, so they'll be a huge threat."

Still, Williamson couldn't avoid questions about India from the assembled media at Seddon Park yesterday.

"They're top in the world at the moment so it's going to be a huge step up," he said.

"This Indian side's obviously extremely strong, watching some of their recent performances, so it'll be a good challenge.

"They're not far away, but it's [our focus] obviously on this game and we now how important it is to keep on improving."

Williamson said the side simply wanted to build on previous displays.

"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."

He felt consistency of selection for the ODI squad had played a big part in recent successes.

"I think that's been hugely important.

"Obviously we've had trying times in recent years and it's seen a lot of players come and go. I guess now, particularly with the test team as well, and now more with the one-day side, there's a bit of continuity there and we seem to be playing reasonably good, consistent cricket.

"And I suppose that continuity is key, particularly in that short format where roles in positions are so key - where you can build momentum and confidence within the make-up of the team.

"I think that's what we've been doing each match with this side."

Williamson conceded a series win wasn't New Zealand's main focus.

"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.

"If we can keep playing the cricket we want to play, at the level we want to play it at, then ultimately wins will come our way."


Fairfax Media