New Zealand keep focus on T20 title after Conway blow, says Williamson

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·3 min read
Leading from the front: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (AFP/Aamir QURESHI)
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New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson on Saturday said the team has "exciting talents" as they bid for a maiden Twenty20 World Cup title after losing Devon Conway to freak injury.

Tim Seifert is set to take over the wicketkeeping duties in Sunday's final against Australia in Dubai.

Conway, who broke his hand after punching his bat in an angry outburst following his dismissal in the semi-final win over England, was a second blow after the Kiwis lost Lockie Ferguson ahead of their opening match in the tournament.

Conway had made 129 runs at the event with an average of just over 32.

Crucially, his ability behind the stumps had allowed the Kiwis to draft in an extra bowler after the group loss to Pakistan.

"Here is a good mix of youth and experience, and some of these younger players that keep coming through are really exciting talents," Williamson told reporters.

"Obviously the loss of Devon is a big one. He's been a big part of all formats for us. It's a disappointing and really freak thing to happen.

"But for us, it's keeping our focus on the task, and all the players are really excited with the opportunity tomorrow to go out, and try to improve and adjust to what will be new, which is a different opposition and a different venue."

New Zealand have been the team to beat in recent times after they ended up runners-up in the 2019 50-over World Cup and clinched the inaugural Test championship in June this year.

Both New Zealand and Australia have never won a T20 World Cup and the Kiwis will be playing in their first ever final in the tournament.

"It would be some achievement," Williamson said on the prospect of winning two world trophies in a single year.

"But you know, where it stands at the moment is there's a game of cricket to play, and for us, it's focusing on that and focusing on our cricket and looking to go out there and implement those things that are important to us."

The trans-Tasman rivals have a rich history of exciting contests and their title clash brings back memories of the 2015 ODI World Cup final in Melbourne when Australia outplayed New Zealand.

"I suppose the fact that we are sort of neighbours creates a bit of that, in a number of different sports as well," Williamson said of the rivalry.

"So it is always a great competition, great occasion, when we play each other. So both teams I think are really excited at that prospect tomorrow."

New Zealand have depended on their new-ball attack of Tim Southee and Trent Boult to unsettle opponents in the tournament.

But Williamson was asked on his team's preparations to tackle Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa who has 12 wickets.

"For us, we want to bring our focus to the cricket that we want to play and make sure that that's the most important thing," he said.

"And you know, go out there and enjoy the occasion and take it on in our style."

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