T20 World Cup: Hard to pre-empt too many things until you turn up, says Williamson on rain threat

With rain threat looming large over the Australia-New Zealand Super 12 match in the T20 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday, both teams might have to make some last-minute changes to their respective playing elevens if the match becomes a truncated affair.

But New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is optimistic about Saturday’s match lasting its full quota of overs despite the 90 per cent rain threat, saying that it is hard for people to anticipate a lot of things before they happen for real.

“Naturally you prepare for a 20-over (match) and then try and adjust to what’s in front of you. Also with the weather that’s been around, we’ll need to see the pitch too in terms of what that might have done to the preparation of the pitch.

“No doubt they’re an experienced crew, and they’ll be putting a lot of time into it, but mother nature often has to play the part. There are a few factors to consider, and I suppose it’s hard to pre-empt too many things until you turn up and actually have a bit of an understanding of what we’re looking at. It might be improving, the weather, so we’ll have to wait and see,” said Williamson in the pre-match press conference.

Citing weather and a possible shortened game, Williamson refused to drop hints on his playing eleven for their Super 12 campaign opener. “We haven’t seen the pitch either. It was covered all this morning. We won’t confirm an 11 just yet because, if it’s short, then it will be likely to change. So we just have to wait and see tomorrow much closer to the match and have a look at the pitch.”

New Zealand’s preparation for their tournament opener hasn’t been the best, losing to Pakistan in the Tri-series final at home and were bowled out for 98 against South Africa in their first warm-up match at Allan Border Field, followed by the second warm-up match against India at The Gabba being washed out.

Moreover, Daryl Mitchell is unavailable for selection for Saturday’s match due to him still being in recovery from a broken finger. “Preparation is always varied regardless of what happens, even if it’s perfectly planned. It was nice to get those games in back home, some really competitive cricket, and then nice to be over here in Australia and get into some preparation.

“It is a balance between doing more and trying to make sure guys are fresh, and I suppose you factor in some of the uncontrollables. We’ve had a bit of weather and all that, as we have today as well. It’s good. The guys are really looking forward and excited for the start of the competition.”

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