New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has stated that playing in the IPL and getting first hand knowledge of playing conditions in UAE helped his team at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. New Zealand are will take on England in the first semi-final at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.
The T20 World Cup 2021 has reached its closing stages and the first semi-final of the tournament is scheduled to be played between England and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Many of the players competing in the competition were also part of the IPL 2021 teams, when the second phase of IPL was played in the UAE.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson feels that IPL gave a lot of knowledge and experience to players from all countries regarding the UAE playing conditions in build-up to the tournament.
"The IPL and I suppose the other franchise come, but certainly add a lot to the knowledge of the players from all countries," Williamson said at the pre-match press conference.
"And also add to the experience of being able to share and I think we’ve seen in this tournament and we certainly saw in the second half of the IPL the variability and the surfaces which, perhaps, lent itself more naturally to certain sides. But you sort of, in the moment, you compete in different games and the margins are fine."
New Zealand suffered their only defeat versus Pakistan by five wickets, and registered four successive wins thereafter to enter the semifinals. Their bowling unit has been in top form, and has been crucial to their success in the tournament thus far.
Williamson stated that the team was fortunate to proceed to the semi-final while playing some reasonable cricket, as he looked up to the next challenge.
"We know coming into this tournament that truly any team could beat anybody and we sort of saw that throughout the competition and there are some sides that perhaps were favourites coming into it. And we’re fortunate on the day but I suppose that’s a tournament sport as well." he said.
"So it’s great we feel fortunate to have got through the stages and been playing some reasonable cricket and we want to continue to."