Mumbai: The Kiwi cricketers arrived here on Friday for the limited over series that will commence from October 22. In a media interaction, skipper Kane Williamson praised India’s emerging all-rounder Hardik Pandya for his performances against various teams in the past year. “In the last year or two he has been playing outstanding cricket. We saw it in the IPL and even in the series against us he bowled very well,” said Williamson.
“Now we are seeing him come along with the bat and making contributions that any team would be pretty happy to have from their all-rounder. He is a very vital player for the Indian side in terms of being a fast bowling all-rounder. In these conditions that aid the spinners so much, having a fast bowling all-rounder that bowls good pace and hits the ball out of the park is always exciting,” the 27-year-old batsman added.
The Kiwi team will take on India A and Board President’s XI on October 17 and 19 at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) here prior to their clash with the Indian team. As New Zealand are not getting as much game time as the Indian side, Williamson feels practice matches will be helpful for his team. “These two games are important for us in our preparations. We will hopefully hit the ground running in the first one-dayer,” he said.
“A number of guys have had experience over here which is always helpful, but we still want to prepare well,” he added referring to IPL. Williamson scored 411 runs in 15 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last edition of the competition.
The duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav who shifted the spin department to wrist spin will be a threat like they had been to Australia in the ODI series. Williamson credits IPL for their growth.
“Both are very talented bowlers. Any player who turns out for India is a very talented player. Exposure in the IPL has been pushing their case to play for India. They both have been very successful. We know it will be a tough challenge, but we are looking forward to it,” said Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson who is ranked at number seven in ICC ODI rankings.