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Williamson: Tough Kiwi ODI summer a plus

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/03/2017 Ben Leahy
Kane Williamson © Getty Images Kane Williamson

The Black Caps crashed to a six-wicket loss in Saturday's deciding one-dayer, but skipper Kane Williamson is taking the positives from a tough summer of cricket against the top-ranked Proteas and Australians.

New Zealand could only scrape together a dismal 149 runs batting first in the fifth ODI at Eden Park and, while fighting hard with the ball, failed to stop South Africa cruising to a 3-2 series victory.

However, Williamson said it wasn't fair to judge his side on one game, after matching the Proteas in the first four and beating Australia 2-0 earlier this year in New Zealand.

'Yes we would have loved to have won the series, but in general there has been some really good cricket played against the ... [highest] ranked opposition in the world," he said.

"There has been some good steps of improvement and there has been some new guys come in and do well. You do want to breed that depth."

Proteas skipper AB de Villiers, meanwhile, has turned his sights to claiming South Africa's second ICC Champions Trophy in June.

The ODI tournament is being held in England and Wales and he said pressure games played in New Zealand helped replicate UK conditions.

"Tonight was a great way to show everyone we can handle the pressure that we can cross the line in tight games [with] tricky totals [and a] really good bowling opposition who squeeze you," he said.

"I felt ready [for the Champions Trophy] before this tour even.

"[But] it would be silly for me to say we are going to win it. I believe that in my heart, but no one is going to make silly statements like that."

While de Villiers now skips the upcoming test series against the Black Caps to fly home for a rest, Williamson said his side needed to shift focus quickly.

"Going into test cricket it is a different beast. We look at it like that and want to make the necessary adjustments come day one of the first test," he said.

The first Test between the Blackcaps and South Africa starts March 8 in Dunedin.

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