- Sanjay Sanapoori | March 19, 2023 | 3:53 am
Two Tests, two nail-biters which went down to the absolute wire, and in both of them one constant. Kane Williamson, with a century to set-up a follow-on victory against England and another century in the fourth innings against Sri Lanka helped set up victory in the dying stages of the Test. Before those two Tests, Kane Williamson could not buy a run. Low scores, struggles and resignation from captaincy marked the downfall of New Zealand’s greatest Cricketer.
Two Tests and an innings later though, Williamson scrambles to show that his downfall is not here yet and he is still here to stay. The second Test against England and first against Sri Lanka were as nail-biting as ever. Kane Williamson though proved that he can still meet a big moment with a smile. Back in 2019, when England took the World Cup by the barest of margins, he continued to smile, despite feeling the pain of defeat.
Against England, following on, with Kane Williamson on the back of a string of low scores along with Anderson and Broad swinging it wildly, the pressure was on. Kane Williamson though as always did not show it. He played out of his skins and batted with responsibility as the former captain made 132 to give England a target that was eventually defended by a mere one run.
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In the first Test against Sri Lanka though, Kane Willamson defined calmness and mastering the process. He followed the Dhoni and Kohli book as he broke down the chase which had New Zealand facing a stiff target on the Final day of the Test. 285 to get, and Kane Williamson stood through. With 5 needed off 3 all four results were possible. On the other end was Ashitha Fernando, who was nailing his short delivieries
Kane Williamson, with a system that insulates stress though showed his class with one shot. He bisected the fielders at point and third-man beautifully to bring the requirement down to one of two balls. The penultimate ball though was short, and went past his head with Williamson hoping for it to be called a wide. It wasn’t and New Zealand were left needing one run off the last ball of the Test match.
The last ball that followed was pure chaos. Neil Wagner, with a hamstring injury and a disk issue in his back ran out to the non-strikers end. Despite all his stamina, and indefatigable strength, a sprint to the strikers end seemed like an impossible task. Another bouncer was bowled, and Neil Wagner sprinted down the pitch as soon as possible. Dickwella’s throw missed the strikers end, as Neil Wagner completed his job.
Fernando though collected the ball and threw it to the non-strikers end, getting a direct hit with Kane Williamson diving(falling) into the crease. In his 93rd Test, Williamson was anxiously waiting for the decision on the big screen. The screen confirmed an almost perfect play as New Zealand’s greatest batter scripted another victory. He proved his worth under pressure yet again.
A test later, after scrambling to victory, Kane Williamson batted like he owned the place. He was as clinical as ever during his 215, consolidating his spot in the fab four, joining them as the members of the famous group have been finding form in recent times.