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)

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock against Pakistan will boost his sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

India vs Australia 2014-15: Harry Conway replaces Gurinder Sandhu in CA XI squad

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Ahmed Shehzad set to return for ODIs; Sohaib Maqsood ruled out

Australia vs India 2014: Shane Watson uninterested in captaining Australia

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s overseas performances have impressed Mike Hesson

Moeen Ali: Would love to open for England again

Rohit Sharma: India are serious contenders

South Africa may lose momentum ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Has Umesh Yadav cemented his place in India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The Melbourne Cricket Club is formed

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Sabbir Rahman fires explosive 44 on debut

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here