Williamson urges youngsters to step up

New Zealand stand-in captain Kane Williamson has urged the younger members in the squad to put their hands up and make a play for spots in the team when they take on Pakistan in the five-match One Day International series starting In Dubai on Monday.
The Black Caps are using the series as preparation for the World Cup, which they are co-hosting with Australia, and Williamson, standing in for the rested Brendon McCullum, feels it is important that they build good depth incase of injuries or emergencies.
He said: "I think it's very important that we've got some young players and they're getting [to play] cricket.Heading into a World Cup, more often than not, you don't get the team exactly how you want it.

"You get an injury or two and various other things can happen, so it is important that we have a variety of people or personnel playing at the highest level so when it comes to World Cup time guys have had some experiences under that sort of pressure."

New Zealand will be missing the frontline opening bowling pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult and Williamson says is important to rest key players, especially fast bowlers, while giving other players an opportunity to experience the pressures of international cricket.

He explained: "It's not so much an audition, it's very much about workloads as well. There's so much cricket before the World Cup so we're very conscious of that but we also want to put out our strongest side at the time.

"We have a couple of frontline bowlers back home at the moment, Trent and Tim, saying that we've got some young blokes that are coming up that have a little bit of extra pace which is promising for the future mixed with some experience at the moment with Kyle Mills.

"Obviously, Vettori, McCullum who are all very experienced as well. I think for us being quite a young side as well, mixed with that experience, it's important that in any one-day game that you play, you are faced with different situations that you need to handle.

Williamson also does not think that the differing pitches to what they would play on against Pakistan in the UAE and what they would face at home in the World Cup, would matter much as long as they stick to their objectives.  

"So whether they are in conditions here or back home, you're still faced with those challenges and how we learn and develop decision-making in those will help us move forward as a one-day unit."