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May 31, 2019

Kane Williamson

Cardiff, Wales, UK

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You've seen the wicket out there. What is your initial take on everything you observed and looking ahead to the all-important first game?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, 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 warmup.

Q. How is your preparation different from 2015? How do the campaigns compare?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, naturally a little bit different just being different seasons, I suppose. The last campaign we were playing a lot of cricket in our home summer, I guess in some ways preparing for the World Cup which was also at home.

Being over in this part of the world heading into winter at home meant it was a little bit different. We had IPL guys who were playing cricket in different parts, which was a good thing, and so we were able to make sure we were getting cricket in. There was some cricket in Australia.

Everybody was playing, which was nice. I guess the difference between playing months together and then going into World Cup versus perhaps not and guys being quite excited to get back together as a group is still a positive thing.

Q. Have you settled on your team yet, and if you have, would you tell us?
KANE WILLIAMSON: 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.

Q. South Africa opened up with a spinner in the game yesterday. Would you contemplate doing the same?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, I guess you've got your five or six bowlers and they're all options. I think it's just important to address the surface, the opposition, and try and come up with the best plan. It was a great for South Africa that that came off, I guess.

But, yeah, I have no doubt that throughout this tournament as conditions perhaps change, playing at a number of different venues, we'll see a number of different tactics from all sides.

Q. You played Sri Lanka earlier this year and beat them 3-nil. They have been going through a very rough patch. How do you take this current team, the new captain, several changes, and how are you looking to the Sri Lankan strengths and weaknesses?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, I don't know how much the past really counts as we come into a tournament. It is on the day. 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.

Q. Kane, you batted first every time against Sri Lanka. Is that something you would look to continue to do if you win the toss tomorrow?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Like I said, I need to go and have a closer look at the surface and obviously have a look again tomorrow before making a decision on the toss. Winning the toss is also another part to that. Just have to see what happens tomorrow.

Q. In terms of injuries, how are Latham and Munro and any other players with injuries as well?
KANE WILLIAMSON: 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.

Q. Little over four years ago somewhat similar conditions. You opened the first match against Sri Lanka and here you are again. The catch phrase then was something along the lines of, The time of our lives. What's the thought process right now? Do you have a team catch phrase right now?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Maybe the time of our lives came out after the tournament perhaps, as it progressed. But it was. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed that tournament.

I guess we come to now and so many things are different and have changed and different personnel on both sides. I guess it's coincidence that we're playing each other again in our first matches. But, yeah, the focus is very much on our team, the sort of cricket that we want to be playing, the attitudes we want to be taking into the first match, and that's where we'll place our importance.

Q. In this tournament, coming in, very few people are talk about New Zealand as an outsider. Are you just happy to be under the radar then? Everyone is talking about West Indies and other big sides, the dark horses, but no one is talking about you that much. Are you okay with it?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, it's okay. I don't really know. Some people may be saying something about us. I'm not sure. We're talking about us.

No, 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.

Q. The style of cricket you want to play, is that in keeping with the style from the sides that use the Top 5 to really go at attacks? Are you prepared for that kind of attack and are you prepared to take the opposition on the same way?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, I think some of the styles that we've seen from other sides are very much suited to them, the conditions on those days. I think there has been a lot of talk about really high scores, but I think there will be a number of games where that isn't the case and it'll require adjustment.

I guess for us at the last World Cup there was I guess a trend in how we played. It was about being smart with the crop that we had to try and get the best performance that we could get. It meant we were aggressive in how we played. The ball swung. We looked to utilize that as well as we could.

We're yet to know, I guess, how things will shape in this tournament. For us, our cricket that we want to play, I guess we reflect back over the last few years as a group that we've been growing together. It's been about adjusting to conditions and opposition to try and move the team forward.

Whether it's guys having to push a bit harder on a particular surface on a given day, then that may be what's required. Equally it may not be the case and it's about guys adjusting to perhaps what one-day cricket used to look a little bit more like where the scores are a little bit lower and much more scrappy type mentality.

So there won't be one way to play, but I guess it's just being smart with how we look to operate. For us as a team that's important.

Q. From the practise games, did you pick up anything that surprised you or might change the way you were thinking before you arrived here?
KANE WILLIAMSON: It's hard to take too much from warmup games. Teams are pretty much looking to give people roles as much as they can and build up, and often sides are playing maybe eight, nine batters and the balance of sides aren't what you're going to be expecting in the games.

But, look, I mean, we do know here on some grounds that are smaller, have flat surfaces, that perhaps there will be some much higher scoring. We saw that in Bristol and also saw it at The Oval. It was quite a different situation.

In some ways we know that not every game is gonna be a 350 score, and we saw that in two warmup games we played. One was; one wasn't.

I think that's important to be made aware of throughout this tournament. I guess it's easy to get ahead of yourself and go, This is what we're going to need to do now in this current situation to give us the best chance and that's out in the middle.

Q. You mentioned Southee there having a bit of a niggle and Henry, and Trent Boult had half a training yesterday. Should we read anything into that? Is the bowling team okay?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, no, they're just feeling minor niggles, so it's important we get through training today. We haven't practiced yet. Moving on to tomorrow before we make our final decisions. Much as we know it's a long tournament. There are a number of parts to those decisions, but relatively minor.

Q. And Trent?
KANE WILLIAMSON: Yeah, Trent is good.

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