‘Underdogs’ tag not a concern for Kane Williamson

It has been a successful year for New Zealand cricket. They beat India to win the ICC World Test Championship and finished runner-up in the T20 World Cup. But even then, the Kiwis are called โ€˜underdogsโ€™ ahead of any major tournament.

Skipper Kane Williamson, however, is not too concerned.

โ€œI am yet to hear the favourites tag, but for us, it is always about focusing on the bigger picture as a side and trying to put our energy into taking one step ahead. There is a lot of planning that goes on. But you go to tournaments and every team is strong,” Williamson said on Monday during a media interaction organised by Amazon Prime Video, which will start live cricket streaming from January 1 with the Black Caps’ series against Bangladesh.

โ€œIf you look at the last T20 World Cup, anybody can beat anybody. There are no promises in those situations. It is about going out there and being prepared to the best of your ability to give yourself the best chance of winning. There are challenges along the way, and it is about sticking together and keep moving forward,โ€ he added.

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Over the years, the Black Caps have emerged as one of the most respected teams in the world. And Williamson believes it is important to be on guard as role models. โ€œWe are human beings. We are ambassadors of the game, and we are fortunate to do what we do. There might be kids watching, so your behaviour is pretty important. The competition can get fierce, but at the end of the day, it is a game we love.”

The team has achieved tremendous success despite not having superstar coaches in its ranks. And pace ace Tim Southee believes that great camaraderie and team environment help the team fare better.

โ€œWe do not have superstars in terms of X-players in the coaching staff, but we have a great team environment. Not only the players, the support staff also buys into that. We respect everyone, we try to have a lot of fun, and everyone works hard,” said Southee.

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