New Zealand captain encourages batsmens to play with freedom

Vastavam web: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson encouraged his frontline batsmen to play with freedom in Tuesday’s semi-finals against India to overcome their struggle for rhythm in the Cricket World Cup. Not surprisingly, Williamson is New Zealand’s leading scorer after the group stage with 481 runs from eight matches at a 96-plus average.

The next Kiwi batsman in that list is veteran Ross Taylor, way down with 261 runs and an average of 37.28. “We were certainly expecting that it would be tough. But what we didn’t quite expect coming into the tournament was the large variety of conditions that we faced,” Williamson told a news conference at Old Trafford.

“It’s just a great occasion to be a part of. I know the guys are really excited by the opportunity to go out and try and try and play with that freedom that when we do gives us the best chance.” Addressing a news conference before him, India captain Virat Kohli said the “special” Williamson controlled the team’s tempo and would naturally be a key wicket for the Indian bowlers.

“No, I think there’s also been a number of other contributions that have been really important for us to get to where we are right now,” he said.