Cricket

Published on March 30th, 2017 | by Suraj Choudhari

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Kane Williamson – A judicious warrior with a captivating smile

New Zealand need 2 runs for a clean-sweep, Kane Williamson needs five for his ton. The skipper walks up to Jimmy Neesham, who is on strike, asks him to finish things off and then let’s grab a beer. Neesham follows the captain’s order, milks a boundary as New Zealand whitewash Bangladesh in the ODI series. Williamson, on the other hand, remained unbeaten on 95, sacrificed his personal milestone and gave a testament to his judicious personality and humbleness.This is the kind of cricketer, team-man and skipper, Williamson is. A team man in all kind of circumstances and a fighter in his own style.

Williamson is a warrior, a warrior with a charming smile, a warrior with a humble attitude, a warrior with amazing fighting skills, with the bat of course. For his sound technique and monk-like temperament, Williamson is also acknowledged as one of the four incredible batsmen in contemporary cricket by many cricket pundits. With the other players being Virat Kohli, Joe Root and Steven Smith. Williamson has a knack of achieving milestones and breaking records.

With a lot of cricket happening around the globe, not many were following the Test series being played between New Zealand and South Africa. In fact, there was no live coverage available for the matches in a cricket fanatic country like India. For a cricket follower like me, only live streaming or scorecard was the source to follow such high-voltage Test cricket action in an island nation.

Williamson continued his pristine form and scripted history in the third Test at Hamilton, where he plundered 176 in a rain-affected game. This was Williamson’s 17th Test ton and now jointly holds the record for scoring the most number of Test centuries for New Zealand along with Martin Crowe. But Williamson has achieved this feat in 110 innings while Crowe did the same in 120 innings. Williamson also completed 5000 Test runs in his 110th innings, which makes the fastest New Zealander to have reached the landmark as he overhauled Crowe’s record of 117 innings. And he achieved all this at a tender age of 26.

Williamson is not an intimidating cricketer, he hardly gets into any kind of confrontation with the opposition. Instead, he lets his bat do the talking and get the job done. He may be not as flashy as Brendon McCullum but fills in for it with his amazing psyche. Not many players manage to thrive with the burden of captaincy and there are very few, who transcend under it. Williamson surely belongs to that league. After taking over the captaincy from McCullum last year, Williamson has only flourished as a player. He averages 59.94 in 13 Tests as captain so far, with four scintillating tons. This is an evidence of his solidity and ability to soak in all the pressure and come out hard.

Had Williamson been born in a country like India, he would have undoubtedly shared the kind of limelight Kohli shares for the kind of record he boasts of. By looking at the way Williamson has fared so far, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Williamson will retire as greatest batsman New Zealand have produced. He will certainly make it to the most All Time XIs and will have numerous records to his name.

Williamson, who is always expected to stand out once again did the job for his side in this series. He commenced the series with a bang and scored his 16th ton at Dunedin but incessant rains played the spoilsport. He had a tough time in the second Test scoring just 2 and 1 in two innings respectively as a result of which, New Zealand lost the battle. It can also be said that Williamson’s run is directly proportional to New Zealand’s fate in a match. His average of 75.29 in 21 matches that New Zealand have won in his presence corroborates the belief. And, on the other hand, Williamson just averages 27.58 in 24 games that New Zealand have lost so far. The massive difference is a proof, New Zealand have a good run when Williamson performs.

The final Test was New Zealand’s golden opportunity to make a comeback and Williamson ensured his side had an upper-hand with his 176. But rain denied New Zealand a chance to square the three-match Test series as they lost the battle to South Africa by 1-0. Williamson did almost everything right to end his first home season as Test captain on a high but unfortunately, they were handed a draw at Hamilton.

Williamson received accolades from his opponent for his exploits in the series. South African coach Russell Domingo heaped praised on the Kiwi skipper and was quoted in a report from stuff.co.nz saying, “We’ve played against some proper players- this team’s played against Ponting, they’ve played with Kallis, they’ve played against Steven Smith, and he’s up there, there’s no doubt about it.”

As of now, the only thing Williamson needs to work on is winning tosses, luck hasn’t favoured the crafty batsman when it comes winning the coin toss. He is a proven winner and champion with his own charisma, he is hungry for success and will be the man to watch out for in the future. With age being on his side and his game only on a hike, Williamson will only get better from here on. Though New Zealand have lost the Test series but Williamson has a lot o positives to talk about. That is Kane Williamson for you.

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About the Author

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Suraj Choudhari is a freelance sports journalist. He is an avid follower of the game and played the sport at club level. With a radical understanding about the subtle nuances and intricacies of cricket, he tries to express it through paper and pen.



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