New Zealand are determined to make the best of a lopsided international schedule this summer, even if it is badly skewed in favour of short form cricket.

There are just four tests this season, two against the West Indies in early December, then two to wrap up the summer against England in late March.

There are 29 - or possibly 30, depending on the identity of the teams to contest the T20 tri-series final at Eden Park on February 18 - limited-overs internationals, starting with the late inclusion of a trip to India beginning on October 22.

The lack of tests is disappointing but captain Kane Williamson has a simple view of the schedule: roll up the sleeves and make the best of it.


"The challenge of sport in general is getting the mind right," he said.

"Usually you have a few more tests and it's shared with one-dayers and tests. There's plenty of white ball cricket and it's important guys can refresh when needed, but in saying that there lies a really good opportunity for the one-day side."

Williamson is still smarting over New Zealand's awful Champions Trophy campaign in England in June, their most recent international cricket. But his own form was strong, 244 runs at an average of 81, but other players failed to deliver. It may seem a way off, but Williamson pointed out there's another World Cup on the horizon in 2019.

So while the schedule is certainly not to all tastes, Williamson's philosophy is make the most of it.

"Without a doubt. Whenever you have an opportunity to play for your country that's a big bonus, whether it's a test, one-dayer or T20.

"We've had good performances as a side in recent times - the Champions Trophy not being one of them. But not putting performances on the board we'd have liked can help with learnings moving forward. The large number of one-dayers is a good opportunity to build."

New Zealand have a mixed bag of opponents coming up with matches against India, West Indies, Pakistan, Australia (as part of the tri-series) and finally England.

Williamson steers away from talking in specific target terms, such as what he'd like a winning percentage to be over the summer.

"Winning and losing is the business you're in, but in terms of our focus, it's very much on how the team is tracking and hopefully results can take care of themselves."

Williamson, test average 51.16, ODI average 46.98, is the only batsman who ranks in the top six in all three forms of the game. Not Steve Smith, not Joe Root, not Virat Kohli.

So his own game is in good order and he feels fresh and ready to go, after his sojourn in the Caribbean Premier League.

Williamson, 27, took over as New Zealand captain from Brendon McCullum from the world T20 tournament in India in March last year.

He believes he is developing as a leader and decision maker.

"My captaincy is certainly a collective approach. The thought is what does this team need, how are we going as a group and how best to make sure it keeps moving in the right direction."

India are beckoning, New Zealand picking up a vacant slot in the Indian programme when Pakistan's bilateral tour there was cancelled, which was no surprise given the political climate between the neighbours.

"There's no bigger challenge than India in India."