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We always focus on the bigger picture: Kane

New Zealand hardly gets included in title discussions and debates ahead of ICC events, despite deep runs in global competitions in the past decade.

We always focus on the bigger picture: Kane
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The New Zealand team is jubilant after winning the World Test Championship
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Chennai

And, 2021 was no different. But just as it routinely does, the Kane Williamson-led team grabbed the headlines this year by letting the bat and ball do the talking. The ‘Black Caps’ produced red-hot form in whites against the ‘Men in Blue’ – India – in the final to emerge as the inaugural winner of the World Test Championship.

The ‘Kiwis’ followed it up with a silver-medal finish at the T20 World Cup in the UAE as it was undone by its Trans-Tasman rival Australia in the title decider. In a virtual interaction organised by Amazon Prime Video on Monday, skipper Williamson and pace spearhead Tim Southee spoke about what makes New Zealand click at blue-ribbon tournaments. “I am yet to hear the favourite tag. But for us, it is always about focussing on the bigger picture and trying to put our energy in taking a step forward. There is a lot of hard work and planning that goes on, which we wholeheartedly commit to,” said Williamson, whose side often flies under the radar.

“As a team, we must make sure we are prepared and are able to play our best cricket. Overall, we want to keep going in an upward direction. But, there are a number of challenges along the way. As a team, it is about sticking together, addressing the points (weaknesses) and moving forward,” added Williamson.

Sharing his thoughts, long-serving pacer Southee said: “We don’t have superstars in terms of ex-players among the coaching staff. But, we have a great team environment. We try to have a lot of fun in the dressing room. Everyone works extremely hard to be ready. Not only the players but also the coaching staff buy into what the team is about and what we want to achieve. It works pretty well for our group.”

Southee also reflected on what was a fairly successful period for New Zealand cricket. “Looking back, it has been a good year. Winning the World [Test] Championship was clearly a highlight. Making it to another final (T20 World Cup) was pretty pleasing, although we fell in the final hurdle,” Southee went on to add.

Men’s side all-rounder Kyle Jamieson, and the New Zealand women’s team trio of Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr also graced the occasion.

(The home matches of the New Zealand men’s and women’s teams can be caught live and exclusive on Amazon Prime Video starting January 1, 2022)

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