New Zealand captain Kane Williamson urged his teammates Saturday to avenge last year’s narrow ODI series defeat to India by putting in the performance of their lives this time around.
The Kiwis and their hosts were locked at 2-2 going into the decisive match of their 2016 one-day international rubber only for India to cruise to victory by 190 runs.
“In our last series here we were two-all going into the decider which … at (that) stage was a good effort, although we knew we hadn’t quite played our best performance.
“And it was a shame in that last game. So it would be nice to come out this series and do a little bit better,” said Williamson ahead of Sunday’s opener at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
India, second in the ODI rankings, come into the three-match series on the back of a convincing 4-1 limited-overs victory over Australia and Williamson isn’t fooling himself about the size of the task ahead.
The 27-year-old said the visitors, ranked fifth, must be at the top of their game if they are to achieve what they failed to do last year and inflict a rare series defeat on India.”(India are) a very hard team to beat. We know that at home in particular they’ll be the strongest team in the world so there’s no illusions that we need to come out and play our best cricket,” the right-handed batsman told reporters.
India have only lost two out of 16 ODI series at home since losing to Australia in 2009-10 and can regain the top ODI spot from South Africa if they win the series 3-0.
Williamson said Martin Guptill and Colin Munro would open the batting on Sunday with Tom Latham, who scored a quickfire century in New Zealand’s final warm-up game this week, coming in lower down the order.