'IPL is one of the biggest tournaments in the world'

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New Delhi, April 8: Relishing every bit of the IPL experience in his debut season, Sunrisers Hyderabad's New Zealand import Kane Williamson is mighty impressed by the local talent available in the Sun TV-owned side.

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Apart from the big Indian names in Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma and Naman Ojha, the side also boasts of rising talent like Parvez Rasool, Karn Sharma and Lokesh Rahul.

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The David Warner-led side though relies heavily on foreign muscle with the likes of Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Dale Steyn, Trent Boult and Williamson part of the SRH squad. But the Kiwi batsman insists that the international players can certainly learn a thing or two from local talent.

"Great to meet all the guys. Obviously you see these guys in world cricket and some of whom I have played against and now to be playing with them it feels good. And also the Indian players, the local players who are outstandingly talented. So it's great to meet them as well.

"We all share our experiences and get the best knowledge of these conditions. Some of them haven't played international cricket, so a lot for us to learn. We can all sit and chat about our experiences at the international arena," Williamson told PTI in an interview.

Having made his debut in 2010 during the Ahmedabad Test, Williamson also played a key role for Northern Knights in the Champions League T20 last year. The 24-year-old batsman is pleased to be back on Indian shores.

"I have been fortunate to have been to India a few times to play cricket. So it's nice to be back. The Indian public is so passionate about the sport and so that makes it a great place to play," he said.

Bagged by SRH in February auctions for Rupees 60 lakhs, Williamson sees the IPL opportunity as a big one in terms of his cricket career.

'One of the biggest tournaments'

"It is recognised as one of the biggest tournaments in the world. I think that the passion behind the sport in this country is like no other and that's what brings the hype to a tournament like this. And then also I feel it is opportunity to play alongside some of the best talents. How this tournament unfolds as it progresses is what everybody speaks highly off," he said.

Williamson is also a handy off-spinner and the youngster has already started taking tips from Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitahran, who has been roped in as SRH bowling coach.

"I have been working with Murali for the last couple of days. I am looking to work on it a lot during this campaign. Hope I can improve during this tournament," he said.

From playing against Warner in the World Cup final, to be being captained by the Australian opener in this IPL season, Williamson has high regards for his trans-tasman rival.

"Like I said before, you play against a lot with these overseas players and it's really nice to play with them and actually understand the person more than just the cricketer. Dave is a fantastic player and surely he will lead the team very well and I am looking forward to play under him," he said.

Praising the captaincy of McCullum

But talk about captaincy and there is no guessing for his choice of leader - Brendon McCullum it is. Williamson, who led a successful Under-19 World Cup campaign for New Zealand when they lost to the Virat Kohli-led India in the 2008 final, also knows about the qualities of a good captain.

"I think a very good captain is someone who leads the team, particularly off the field and create a culture where players are playing for one and another. I think it's also important of having a skill set of being innovative and refreshing.

"I first name that come to mind with all these qualities in Brendon McCullum. In IPL I don't know many captains so I just can't comment. But definitely there will be better ones," he said.

Not worried about success and failure, Williamson relishes the challenge of T20 cricket. "Look T20 cricket is exciting. It's always nice to play different formats, like I have done in recent years. There are more areas to improve your game and T20 certainly opens up the imagination to all different skill sets," he signed off.

PTI

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