Kane Williamson is playing his first ever IPL    IANS
Kane Williamson is playing his first ever IPL IANS

Brendon McCullum might have been the star player for New Zealand in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, but the sizzling Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener sees his New Zealand teammate Kane Williamson emerging as one of the finest batsman ever. Recently, Williamson had an amazing streak of good performances across all formats in the lead up to the World Cup 2015. He is featuring in his first Indian Premier League (IPL) and spoke to Sudatta Mukherjee on topics ranging from local Indian talents to his international cricket journey and the positive culture of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Sudatta Mukherjee (SM): This is your first season of IPL. You are playing for SRH. How have things been so far?

Kane Williamson (KW): It has been great. We had a camp in Visakhapatnam and all the boys were playing well there. Obviously it was not great to get off to the start we did, but this is Twenty20 cricket, and we are looking to turn that around. IPL 2015 schedule: IPL 8 match time table with venue details

SM: You usually open the innings or bat at No. 4 in T20Is and at No. 3 in Tests and ODIs. However, in the match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) you batted at No. 6. What was the plan?

KW: I was asked to play my natural game. The match against CSK was unique as they scored such a big total. We had to get around a little bit, which is the nature of T20; unfortunately it didn t work out for us. IPL 2015: CSK, KKR, RCB, KXIP, MI, RR, SRH, DD full team details in IPL 8

SM: How has it been working under Tom Moody and VVS Laxman?

KW: It s been great. I have been with the squad about a week now and it is nice to get to know everyone; there is a very positive culture and one that I am certainly enjoying. We can hopefully reach out together and put the performances out there.

SM: Even though Brendon McCullum is playing against you and Trent Boult in IPL, he said that both of you will get better as IPL progresses. What is your take on that?

KW: McCullum has played brilliantly. When he is going like that, he is very difficult to stop. He has shown that many times in the past. From Trent s and my prospective, we want to keep improving and try and contribute to the team s performances as much as we can. Everyone is trying to that.

SM: You have come a long way since your debut in 2010. Now you are one of the most praised batsmen in the world. How has the journey been like?

KW: It has been certainly one of loss and winning one that has been enjoyable. There have been many ups and downs but that is the nature of the game, and I suppose when you have a lot of ups and downs, you learn a lot about yourself. There have been a lot of great experiences, travelling the world, and meeting a lot of people.

SM: You are probably one of those batsmen who are equally good across all formats, unlike the many specialist Test and T20 players. What is your take on that? Do you think people should concentrate on all forms of cricket or take one format at a time?

KW: I think it is very enjoyable to try and adapt your game in different formats. The volume of cricket you can be exposed to these days can be refreshing, to be able to play different formats and also playing different teams. It is nice to have such an opportunity.

SM: What will be your message for youngsters in India? Concentrate on IPL or First-Class cricket?

KW: They should play all formats. The long format is very good for your game, in strengthening your game. On the other hand, I believe that white-ball cricket, one-day cricket, T20 cricket are great for expanding it. So, I believe both are important for a cricketer.

SM: How has been New Zealand during the World Cup?

KW: It has been a great experience. The team played really well and got the momentum throughout the group stages and through the quarter-final and semi-final. There were some very exciting games. The team and the sport captured the nation. We had a huge following back home, which was great. It was a bit of a shame to have not gone all the way. The Australians were a very good side. We played the cricket we wanted to play and we have no regrets from it.

SM: Has there been any youngster or domestic cricketer who has grabbed your attention?

KW: I have said this many times in interviews that it is great to play with international stars, but there are some great local talents as well. We played a couple of warm-up games and I was impressed the way some of them played. There were a few Indian guys who have not played international cricket but to see them play the quality of cricket they did in the warm-up games and the way they dominated was very exciting, particularly for Indian cricket, but very much for SRH as well. Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015: Complete coverage

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English television show on her laptop. Her Twitter handle is @blackrosegal)