Williamson out to improve T20 game

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 15:43 07/01/2014

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

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

They will instead play in the domestic T20 competition, with the pair set to go head to head in Hamilton on Friday night when Williamson's Northern Knights host 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 in Hamilton today before the final match in the five-game one-day series against the tourists.

"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 manager 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," he 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.

Williamson said the hosts wanted to continue their run of good form after losing the opening ODI in Auckland on Boxing Day.

"We're just looking to build on previous performances," he 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 to bring consistency to our one-day game."

He felt a series win was not the most important thing for the side.

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

"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 hit by injury problems, and leg-spinner Samuel Badree, all- rounder Andre Russell and batsman Andre Fletcher, who have arrived for the T20 series, may be part of the one-day squad tomorrow.

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

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New Zealand squad for the T20 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.

- Waikato

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