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Williamson tips shocks in Champions Trophy

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/05/2017 Angelo Risso

Next month's ICC Champions Trophy is likely to be fast, furious and full of upsets, according to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

Fresh off their ODI tri-series win in Ireland, the Black Caps have touched down in London ahead of their first warm-up match against India on Sunday night (NZT).

They'll then play a second warm-up against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, before taking to the field for their first Champions Trophy pool match on June 2 against Australia.

Williamson, who missed the side's series with Ireland and Bangladesh on Indian Premier League duty, admitted his side may have an edge on opponents - such as those from the Indian subcontinent - who are used to drier, more spin-friendly wickets.

But given the speed at which the tournament is played, anything is possible.

"It's such an interesting tournament, a short tournament, that on any given day - particularly in one-day cricket - things might happen that might be out of your control, and it can go one way or the other," Williamson told reporters.

"With so many teams that are strong contenders, you need to go out and play with that freedom, be prepared to take the game on and hope things fall in your favour.

"There's not much time for slip-ups or for conservative cricket."

The Black Caps have drawn a trio of familiar opponents in Group A for the Champions Trophy, with recent foes Bangladesh, hosts England and Australia making up their pool.

A heavily undermanned Kiwi outfit, led by Tom Latham, edged out Bangladesh in their first tri-series clash in Dublin before falling by five wickets in Wednesday's dead rubber.

New Zealand also has recent form over their trans-Tasman rivals, winning the Chappell-Hadlee ODI series 2-0 on home soil at the start of the year.

Home nation England have not played the Black Caps in the one-day format since 2015, but Williamson nevertheless predicted a tough battle.

"Absolutely a realistic contender," Williamson said of the hosts.

"The power, particularly in the batting line up that they show throughout, down perhaps to 10, is a real strength of theirs."

Williamson also reaffirmed his faith for the ICC's tournament security protocols after 22 people were killed in a terror attack at a concert in Manchester on Monday.

Security will be ramped up for the tournament, held in London, Birmingham and Cardiff, as well as for all other sporting events in Great Britain.

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