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2017 ICC Champions Trophy: England Will Be The Real Threat To Us, Says Kane Williamson 

2017 ICC Champions Trophy: England Will Be The Real Threat To Us, Says Kane Williamson

New Zealand will be entering yet another multi-nation tournament as the ‘dark horses.

The former champions, who won the ICC Champions Trophy once in 2000 (it was then called the ICC Knockout Trophy) under Chris Cairns, are pitted in Group A along with two top contenders, England, Australia along with Bangladesh.

The format of the Champions Trophy allows no room for errors and the reward for consistency is at the highest. To become the champions, everything a team needs is five back to back wins. But, things are never that simple with all top eight teams vying for the same coveted trophy at once with the same intent.

In nutshell, there are no actual favourites to win the trophy, as one bad game is all it takes for the dreams to shatter in the Champions Trophy.

“It is such an interesting tournament because it is such a short tournament,” Williamson said on Thursday (May 25). “On any given day things can happen that might be out of your control and it can go one way or the other, so we have to hit the ground running.

“It is a very interesting tournament having played in it before and everyone is a real contender so you need to play with freedom, be prepared to take the game and hope things land in your favour,” he observed.

New Zealand has played a bilateral series against both Australia and England in the recent past and have a beaten them. They are currently involved with Bangladesh as well in the tri-series. Such successes gives confident when clashing with them at the big stage.

“Any time you have those experiences against opponents you are coming up against in similar conditions, it is the same side too, it is only a good thing,” he pointed out. “But you don’t tend to look too much into it in tournaments like this – it is a one-off game and both teams will be playing with freedom and hope it comes off.

Williamson also appreciated the resurgence of England cricket in the limited overs format and regarded them as the threat.

“England are playing some very good cricket and it is an improved brand in comparison to what it did in the ICC Cricket World Cup. It is an exciting team to watch it – they will be a threat,” he added.

The recently concluded Indian Premier League served as a great platform for the New Zealanders to get themselves involved in active cricket during the absence of international fixtures. Skipper Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Mitchell McClenaghan all were involved in with various franchises and had fairly successful time.

In a bid to help the uninvolved men get some match practice, they were sent to Ireland for a tri-series. Williamson feels that such preparatory steps before a major tournament help in a certain way.

“A lot of our guys have been heavily involved in the Indian Premier League and we sent a squad with perhaps 10 guys who are not involved in the Champions Trophy over to Ireland for the tri-Series last week.

“There are a number of guys getting cricket and preparation for this tournament. It counts for something but not for everything because we still come back to one-off clashes with opponents and if you win then you can go a long way in the competition,” he said.

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