New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson on Sunday said there is always a “bigger picture” and he sees growth in the team despite their loss to Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup final.
Williamson’s 85 off 48 balls went in vain as Australia outplayed New Zealand by eight wickets in Dubai to clinch their first men’s T20 World Cup title.
Australia’s win brought back memories of their dominant win over the Black Caps in the 2015 ODI World Cup final in Melbourne. The Kiwis also lost the 2019 ODI World Cup to England in a dramatic final that was decided on boundary count after a Super Over.
Williamson interrupted a journalist when reminded of New Zealand’s three losses in World Cup finals, saying “And championship final?”
He was referring to this year’s victory in the Test Championship final over India in England.
“You sign up to play the game, and you win and you lose, and these are things that can happen on any day,” Williamson told reporters. “You know, if you look at the campaign on a whole, which we do, and the type of cricket that we have been able to play, I can say that we are very proud of our efforts throughout this period of time.
“You get to a final and anything can happen. You mentioned perhaps that white ball in 2019, which might be a longer discussion if you have some time.”
Williamson admitted Australia had deserved to win on Sunday as they chased down their target of 173 for the loss of just two wickets.
Here are excerpts from Williamson’s press conference:
Where do you feel that game went away from you today?
Yeah, look, I thought the efforts that went in were outstanding. The guys worked hard to get to what we thought was a competitive total. Unfortunately we weren’t able to create many opportunities and get those breakthroughs.
Yeah, it was a little bit frustrating. We sort of thought on that surface that we had a few opportunities to do that and build some pressure. Yeah, I think we’ve seen the conditions throughout be fairly consistent, and the ball did skid on a little bit. But the Aussies were outstanding in their chase and very, very clinical. They have had a fantastic campaign, and they are a brilliant side and they thoroughly deserved it.
It looked tough to score. You were 57 for one off 10. Where do you think you were placed at that stage?
It did feel tough. It was just holding in the wicket a little bit. Sort of normal characteristics I think of your Dubai surfaces. It was nice to sort of build a platform and accelerate from there which we were able to do.
Yeah, I suppose when you lose, you look at a number of different areas and you want more of everything. But I think if we look at a whole, the campaign and the effort that went in and the performances that went in to getting us here, and even tonight, it’s always a fine line with winning and losing, especially in this format.
But you come up against a very strong side in Australia and they are playing very, very well, and they did that again tonight.
Unfortunate that your innings was a losing cause, but can you talk a little about the way you approached it?
Yeah, I was trying to play the situation as well as I could, and you know, build some partnerships which we were able to do and get a little bit of momentum after what was quite a tough start on that surface.
Yeah, it was nice to get to a reasonable total, and we thought if we were able to put some wickets on the board and build some pressure in the finals, anything can happen, but once again, Australia were very, very good.
At the interval, did you feel you were above par?
Roundabout. I guess there’s always things that come in and factor, and conditions are a big part of that. But having said that, with runs on the board and you can build some pressure and you get a few opportunities, things can happen quickly, but wasn’t to be tonight.
How important was the toss factor during this tournament? Those who wins the tosses wins the matches we have seen in these last three matches. How important was the toss factor, especially in this final match?
Yeah, I mean, it did have an effect. Some dew did come in. But take nothing away from the quality of Australia. They came out in the final and played superbly well.
You know, credit goes to them and the way they played their cricket for the last three weeks.
2015 final, 2019 final and now 2021, this team has shown in the past –
KANE WILLIAMSON: And championship final –
I’m talking about the white ball format. But talk about living again up to the expectations, and the type of cricket you play after such defeats, it must be morally crushing, I would say.
You sign up to play the game, and you win and you lose, and these are things that can happen on any day.
You know, if you look at the campaign on a whole, which we do, and the type of cricket that we have been able to play, I can say that we are very proud of our efforts throughout this period of time. You get to a final and anything can happen. You mentioned perhaps that white ball in 2019, which might be a longer discussion if you have some time. And all these different fine lines and results, they happen, you know, and today, we turned up and played some really good cricket. And it wasn’t quite good enough. That’s sort of just the way it goes, you know, and for us, it’s still putting our energy into the right areas.
There are a lot of positives in the statements that you made, and for us, it’s still trying to build on that and grow as a team. You want to win these comps. You want the fruits, and so did say lot of other teams. When you do turn up on the day, anything can happen, and we can see how competitive this competition has been right through the group stages, as well, and there were so many sides that were more than capable of winning this competition.
But like I say, really proud of the efforts that have gone in from our side across the board.
As a captain what would be your words to these boys as you gear up for another cycle? The next World Cup is just 12 months away.
The picture is always big. You sort of narrow it down and look at sort of one game here, one game there and the wins and losses that come as part of what we do.
But the bigger picture is the important one, and it is trying to continue to improve as a group. I thought we came here with some relatively – or a mix, I suppose, of experience and younger players, that a lot of them, it’s their first time in a World Cup and they played extremely well and are much better for the experiences they have had and there’s a lot of growth here.
But as a cricket team, you keep looking forward, as any sports team or any team, for that matter, you keep looking forward at the things that you can continue to improve on as a group and try to play better cricket day-to-day.
So far, so near, are you used to these type of moments, happy with the consistency you’re gaining in the ICC tournaments?
KANE WILLIAMSON: All teams are strong, and you certainly don’t sit back and feel that. You have to be fully engaged and play your best cricket day-in, day-out. Throughout this competition, we were able to adapt well.
We played it sort of, I think it was two games at every venue or whatever it was. We sort of spread out a bit and the team adjusted well and kept committing to what was important to us as a group to make us competitive, and that gave us everything chance.
And it was great to be a part of the final. It would have been obviously nicer to be on the right side of the result. But Australia played really, really well, and you can hear them celebrating next door, and rightly so. They had a fantastic campaign. They are a team full of amazing players and they really stood up today.
Your own batting tonight, great to watch, a couple of one-handed sixers and a flick-six off probably one of the game’s best bowlers.
Yeah, it was nice to make a contribution. And I suppose when you finish with the end result, always want a little bit more. And you want to make sure that as a batsman or being a part of partnerships that have real value, and certainly that was the focus. But unfortunately today it didn’t get us far enough.
But there are a number of good contributions. The team did their very best and it wasn’t quite enough tonight.
Is it a message now in T20s with the way teams are able to chase scores, to be batting second, particularly maybe in that part of the world?
No, I don’t think there’s an advantage for doing one or the other. I think the decision is made based on conditions, knowledge of the conditions, and I think we’ve obviously seen every team try to chase in night games here and we would have tried to do the same, and didn’t get the toss and that’s the way it goes.
All you can focus on is the quality of cricket you can try and play. We certainly tried our very best but Australia were outstanding. They are a very strong side and they showed that throughout this competition.
They put you under pressure right from the start. Did that contribute a little bit to some bowling that was a little bit off the mark tonight, so a little bit missing links and were punished?
The bowling attack has been a strong point for us throughout this whole competition. And you’re having to adjust from venue to venue, team to team, and that’s the nature of playing in tournament sport.
And tonight, yeah, you can always look at little bits that you want to do a little bit better. But ultimately the quality was there from Australia and they played really, really well and put us under pressure, and we weren’t able to get those breakthroughs. If you are, then you can’t build that pressure, and 170 feels like a long way away.
But they played really well. They got momentum and it never changed.
Transcript courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.
With AFP inputs