Home > Features >

Kane Williamson provides genuine hope of stability to New Zealand’s misfiring top-order

    Kane Williamson's century has put New Zealand in a commanding position against West Indies in the third Test © Getty Images (File photo)
Kane Williamson’s century has put New Zealand in a commanding position against West Indies in the third Test © Getty Images (File photo)

Kane Williamson, with a superlative century, took New Zealand to a strong position in the crucial final Test played against the West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados. Bharath Ramaraj looks at New Zealand’s technically best batsman at present.

For long, New Zealand have lacked a rock-solid No 3 batsman who could immaculately construct large edifices and erect a platform for middle-order to ram home the advantage.  Andrew Jones was perhaps the last New Zealander to lay many a foundation with a compendium of gritty knocks for Martin Crowe to reach some fabulous peaks in his career.

However, New Zealand seems to have found a battle-hardened cricketer ready to take on the world. When Kane Williamson rocks back and plays a back-foot punch through the off-side, he seems to be writing a sonnet that is wonderful and rare. Yet, when Williamson made a game-changing century in the ongoing Test against the West Indies at Barbados, early on, he struggled for timing and placement. He seemed to be batting with a stick rather than a willow when he edged a delivery that went between the wicketkeeper, Denesh Ramdin and first slip fielder Chris Gayle. It was followed by an inside edge that could have gone onto shatter his stumps.  But you need a bit of luck along with pluck to reach the summit of batsmanship.

However, once Williamson got his bearings in, he embellished the off-side with back-foot punches, occasional cover-drive and strokes down the ground. The late cut he essayed off Sulieman Benn late on the third day was pure and divine, as he played with softest of hands to guide it with filigree-like precision past the slip fielder for a boundary.

Williamson, all of 23, even seemed to be acting as a mentor and guide to Jimmy Neesham and the older BJ Watling, as New Zealand built a sizeable lead. It has to be remembered that New Zealand lost early wickets in the second innings, but it was Williamson who steadied the ship with his soul sapping defiance.

Williamson, during his innings also went past his previous highest score, which was 135 against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 2012. It is a fine achievement for him and more importantly, for a No 3 batsman, a highest score of 135 does not make a good reading.

Ever since Williamson made a name for himself during his under 19 days with an ensemble of fine achievements, one always felt that Williamson could be a symbol of rare stability in otherwise a largely fragile batting line-up. Yet, Williamson playing in his 34th Test averages below 40. Maybe this innings against the West Indies can turn out to be that career defining knock of Kane Williamson’s career.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

World T20 League 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

More

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Photos

KKR vs Dolphins, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 1st semi-final: KKR win by 7 wickets

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Gandhi Jayanti: Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connections and an XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK), 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: KXIP likely XI

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Hobart Hurricanes India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders

CLT20 2014: KXIP make stuttering start

Mitchell Marsh out of T20I; unlikely for ODIs against Pakistan

Parvinder Awana takes hat-trick as CSK score 182/7 in CLT20 2014 semi-final

CLT20 2014: Parvinder Awana takes a hat-trick

CLT20 2014: Dwayne Bravo scores half-century

CSK vs KXIP CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Chennai bowling under pressure

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), CLT20 2014 2nd semi-final: Key battles

Australia’s ODI team faces a dilemma for the first time in 30 years

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi final, CLT20 2014: Hobart likely XI

Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings, 2nd Semifinal, CLT20 2014: CSK likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Katrina Kaif or Hrithik Roshan: Which of the two Bang Bang hotties is cuter?

Asian Games 2014: Shah Rukh Khan expresses joy at India’s male hockey team’s gold medal victory!

LG webOS-powered smartwatch reportedly in the works

Loss of sense of smell in older people could predict death within 5 years

Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis guide Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to 182/7 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in CLT20 2014

Apple now has a tool for users to check Activation Lock status on used iOS devices

Barclays Premier League Fixtures: EPL 2014-15 Time-Table for October 2014

Expert tips to keep your eyes healthy

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here