New Zealand are back at Lord's for the first time after their heartbreak loss against England in the final of 2019 World Cup. However, the format is different this time and New Zealand would look to do their dress rehearsal for the World Test Championship (WTC) against India in Southampton from June 18. England will be mere spectators in their own home and that would be a sigh of relief for Kane Williamson's men.
But New Zealand are well aware of England's "incredibly clinical" performance in their home conditions and therefore ready for the challenge from Joe Root's side, which is aiming to win 7 consecutive Test matches before heading to Australia for the Ashes.
England have not lost a home Test series since 2014 and Williamson, who scored a Test hundred at Lord's the following year, said, "We still know the challenge is a fierce one.
"England are incredibly clinical in their conditions and there are a number of things to look to adjust to in this part of the world. We're looking forward to that challenge," Williamson added.
Recalling New Zealand loss in the 2019 World Cup final on boundary countback, Kane Williamson said, "It was a fantastic game of cricket. It is a different side and there has been some time since that day.
"Our focus is on the cricket we want to play as a Test side and there is certainly no thought of that.
"We were both part of a fantastic game that was deciding largely by things largely outside both of the teams' control," he added in a reference to the freak extra runs England scored when a throw from the outfield deflected off Ben Stokes' bat for a boundary.
Nevertheless, the star batsman added that the team was excited to be back and playing and cricket at the iconic venue.
"You look back fondly and having that match played at a ground like Lord's I suppose adds to it.
"The guys are really excited to be back here. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to play at Lord's."
"Every time you get the opportunity to play here is a really special thing - 'the home of cricket' and for a few guys it is their first time at Lord's and they are certainly soaking it up. It is pretty cool, despite it being a bit unique with bubble life.
"It will be great to have crowds back," said Williamson ahead of a match that will see spectators returning to international cricket in England for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
Turning to New Zealand's Test record at Lord's, he said: "The thoughts aren't to those sorts of stats...they don't count for too much."
Out of their 17 Test matches at Lord's since 1931, New Zealand have won only one.
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