Black Caps' skipper Williamson refuses to underrate Kohli, Rohit-less young Team India in T20I series
With the amount of talent that the Indian dressing room is usually teeming with, it is fair to say that they are more than capable of giving any team a run for their money even with a bigwigs-less side. This best gets summed up by the Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson who attests to the fact that India are still a formidable side even without their chief players. Kane, who is now well familiar with the IPL, has seen the up-and-comers that fortify the Indian dressing room. The young amateur Indian team that is full of exuberance has been tasked with taking on New Zealand in the three-match T20I series which kicked off on November 18, with the first match washed out due to incessant rain. The Kiwi skipper knows the score that these boys pack a punch and is in no mood to take them lightly.
“I’ve got no doubt they all will be big players for India, I’ve seen them all in the IPL. They’ve got great quality irrespective of the names they put out," Williamson said on Friday.
The Hardik Pandya-led Indian side has been revamped with the likes of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Arshdeep Singh, and Umran Malik who are still in their early 20s, and have already made waves in the IPL and frequented the Indian team intermittently.
The two teams are looking to regroup and shake off the semifinal exit as India and New Zealand had to sign off from the T20 World Cup after facing respective defeats against England and Pakistan with England eventually going on to win the grand Prix.
“We’ll start fresh, this is a new series both sides are looking forward to. We both wanted to get to the final, but we’ve got a week to rest and get ourselves ready for this," Williamson said.
With the next ODI World Cup being less than a year away, Kane wants to give opportunities to all the players to gear up for the showpiece event.
“Quite quick after a major event, we’ve had a whole heap of T20 cricket in the past. We’re quite excited to play India irrespective though. Most teams gear up towards major events that are not too far away, and the ODI format will now be a great opportunity for guys to come in. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for guys to shine," he said.
He added, “We’ll have to wait and see what surfaces present us, and we need to adjust. But it is about getting better, especially in the knockout matches. The likes of Adam Milne were in the T20 World Cup squad but didn’t get an opportunity, so this is a good time to get them some game time."
The first of three matches T20i series between tourists India and hosts New Zealand at Wellington got washed out without a ball bowled. The rain becomes the killjoy and the remaining two matches are to be played on Sunday, 20 November, at 12 pm IST and the finale on Tuesday, 22 November at 12 pm IST.