Kane Williamson, Shane Bond, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson [Image- Twitter/Screengrab].
New Zealand cricketers opened up about their experience of playing in India ahead of the second T20I in Ranchi on Friday. The Black Caps are in India to feature in three T20Is and a couple of World Test Championship Tests.
In a video shared by their official Twitter handle, the likes of Tim Southee, Kane Williamson, Shane Bond and Kyle Jamieson explained what it’s like to play against a powerhouse team like India in front of the home side’s fans.
Hailing India as a ‘cricket-mad’ country, Southee acknowledged that Team India’s fans get behind their side like no other and said:
“Every time you play India in India, it’s an amazing experience. They are a cricket-mad country and they get behind their team like no other.”
“Every time you go there, you feel you have experienced everything. But every time, there is something new, something more amazing. Just an incredible place to go.”
For someone like Jamieson, who is touring India for the first time as part of New Zealand’s team, it’s all about honing new skills and relishing the challenge of playing against the best in the world in their own den. Jamieson explained:
“For me, it’s about getting out of bed each day and the ability to try and challenge yourself against the best in the world in some pretty tough conditions. It’s possibly one of the toughest places to go and play international cricket. So, to go and challenge yourself and learn new tricks is pretty exciting.”
Jamieson is part of the Test squad and the tall pacer will be hoping for similar returns in albeit completely different conditions against his favored opponent.
“It’s something refreshing and special” – Kane Williamson
Skipper Williamson, who made his international debut in India back in 2010, terms the experience of playing in the country as ‘refreshing and special’. Williamson said:
“It’s always a fantastic place to play. Every time you get the opportunity to go back, it’s something refreshing and special. Large volumes of cricket, the addition of the IPL and these sort of things where players are getting exposure to big events. For us as a team, to head over there and take on the best is a great opportunity.”
Williamson isn’t playing in the T20I series but will be back for all-important Test matches. For Shane Bond, it is the passion of fans which stands out. Bond noted:
“The fans, the sound, the culture and the passion of people and the feeling of being surrounded with people 24*7 at the dining table or wherever you go. There is still something about the passion that the people have for cricket in that country that is exhilarating to come and play.”