The New Zealand all-rounder talks about the Twenty20 series against India, his role in the side and preparation ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.
How important is the Twenty20 International against India in Chennai?
It’s very important. We had two games here and then two warm-up games in Sri Lanka when we get there. But unfortunately now four has gone down to three, so we have to make sure that every game we do play we can work out something about ourselves. There is tactics and line-up and team make-up that we can use going forward to Sri Lanka.
Coming what is your role in the team?
Probably what I have done over the last couple of years; batting in the middle order, try and hit the spinners, try and finish off an innings with the bat and also score some boundaries. And in bowling, try to bowl four overs for as little as I can, probably as a change bowler; first change bowler who can possibly be used in the death overs. You have to be very flexible so you better practice for any scenario because you may be used in any time in the game.
Do you consider yourself a Twenty20 specialist?
Not yet. I am still available and playing one-dayers for New Zealand. As of now, I have not retired from that form of the game. So at the moment, I am not a Twenty20 specialist. But with more and more Twenty20 cricket being played around the world, I think it is only natural that guys, when maybe they are at the end of their careers, look to the shorter format of the game where there is less stress on their body, so they can handle it a little bit easier.
What is different about the Twenty20 format?
It is so intense and so fast-paced, batsmen are trying to score runs a lot quicker and bowlers are trying to limit the scoring opportunities for batsmen. So, in terms of batting, you try and find a boundary and in terms of bowling you can just try and need to bowl good yorkers, slower balls and bouncers to help limit scoring opportunities.
How does your SLPL experience help the BLACKCAPS ahead of the ICC World Twenty20?
It helps with understanding the conditions that we are going to play in during the World Cup. It was only two weeks back that we were playing in the SLPL. So, the understanding of the conditions will help. We are playing in Pallakele where I had played three games; so it’s going to be a big bonus. Also, there were about 15 Pakistani players in the league and we have got Pakistan in our group; that helps us a lot as well. Definitely, there are some benefits out of that tournament.