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Kane Williamson lays emphasis on teamwork

Kane Williamson, who will be leading the New Zealand side in the absence of Brendon McCullum, is excited at the prospect of leading a young side and stressed that the Kiwis, himself included, wants to play for the team and not for individual records.

Kane Williamson New Zealnd South Africa
Kane Williamson will lead the New Zealand side against South Africa

New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who will lead the side in the absence of the Brendon McCullum has laid emphasis on teamwork as his side’s biggest strength, ESPNCricinfo reports. The 25-year-old also said that captaining a relatively inexperienced Kiwi side will be equally enjoyable and challenging.

The World Cup finalists are set to kick off their tour of South Africa with the 1st T20 international that takes place in Durban today and they are missing several of their key players. Apart from McCullum, who gave the series a miss citing an "intense period of cricket dating back to the World Cup," New Zealand are without the services of experienced batsman Ross Taylor as well as their pace spearheads Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

The absence of such key players have increased the pressure on Williamson, but he is confident that he can handle the expectations and is excited about the prospect of captaining the young side.

"I think captaincy is separate to batting. In the field, it's applying yourself more in terms of thinking, whether it's bowling changes, fielding positions, the whole lot. And it's an enjoyable challenge, particularly in T20 cricket where there's so much happening and things happen quickly so you need to stay on your toes," Williamson said. "It's enjoyable and a challenge as well with a new-look side."

Williamson, along with Virat Kohli and Steven Smith, is considered one of the brightest young batsman in the game, but he stressed that he has never played for records.

"It is about playing for the team in any situation. I am a believer that sometimes results or figures that you try and reach can be a distraction to achieving it. My focus is contributing playing a role that I'm given and if you are able to pass milestones along the way, that’s great," he said.

Williamson added that it hold true not just for himself, but for the entire team.

“It's more about looking to contribute to a team performance, a team win, and that's where we want people playing their games. Whether that means one or two guys consistently perform and hold a position, that’s great, but ultimately we want a bunch of guys that are going to be giving to the team and moving the team forward," he said.

"That's a lot of what we talk about: playing for the right reasons, playing to move the team forward and being able to somewhat remove too many selfish endeavours - which can be a challenge in the game. There's so many stats around that they can come into individuals' mindsets, but the biggest thing for us is that when we play for the team the obligation is purely to help the team and move the team forward."

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