When we are competitive, we know we can beat anybody: Kane Williamson

New Zealand reached the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 four years ago for the first time after six semi-final defeats, only to be soundly beaten by Australia in Melbourne. Kane Williamson has now replaced the swashbuckling Brendon McCullum as captain but the core of the team that came so close in 2015 remains.

Since the last World Cup, New Zealand have risen as high as second in the world rankings but have also been beaten at home by South Africa, England and India. New Zealand beat fancied India in their opening World Cup warm-up game before going down to the West Indies.

They will open their 2019 campaign against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Saturday. Ahead of the game Kane Williamson spoke to he media.

Excerpts from the interaction: 

On the Sophia Gardens track…

I haven’t actually seen the wicket just yet. I’ve come of the bus and just came straight here. Had a little look yesterday. Obviously a bit of a green tinge, but maybe with a bit of warm weather potentially may change a little bit. We haven’t practiced yet, so have a little look when we go out for a warm up.

On NZ’s playing XI…

We haven’t settled on it just yet. We need to get through training today. A couple of minor niggles that want to be I guess monitored before tomorrow. Yeah, we cannot yet settle on that.

On Sri Lankan team…

We know in this competition that any team can beat any of the other teams, so we’re certainly treating all our matches like that. We want to bring the focus back to the cricket we want to play day in and day out. Naturally when you go through the tournament you play one country and you might have two or three days, play another country on another surface, and you’re trying to, I guess, stay up-to-date with the different I suppose plans that you’re adjusting with the different opposition. But our focus is much about the cricket that we want to play. We know the Sri Lankan side is a little bit different to the one we played at home, but we have no doubt they’re a tough side.

On Tom Latham and Colin Munro’s injuries…

Yeah, so fairly exciting for Tom. He’s progressed nicely and will be available tomorrow, which is great news. He’s very much looking forward to that. Yeah, Munro is fine with his niggle. And Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls have some minor niggles as well, and that’s why we can’t quite name our team today.

On News Zealand’s chances at the World Cup 2019…

We’re just excited to get involved. We know that there are sides ranked higher and are favorites in these conditions, but once again, it’s about us playing the sort of cricket that we want to be playing and showing those sort of attributes, characteristics, that are really important to us as a side to try and be a competitive side day in and day out. When we are that, we know we can beat anybody.