For the fourth and final instalment of my look at the new generation of Test batman, I’ll be turning my attention to New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.
Alongside Smith, Kohli and Root, Kane Williamson is part of a quartet that look set to dominate the Test game over the next decade. The Kiwi batsman has recently elevated his status, after some supremely impressive scores in the recent Test series’ against Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Most recently, in New Zealand’s triumph against the Sri Lankans, he produced an absolute master class in long-form batting. His unbeaten 242 was a thing of beauty, his languid drives only eclipsed by his stern forward defensive. He also enjoyed a world record partnership with his wicketkeeper BJ Watling, as they racked up 365 for the sixth wicket to crush the Sri Lankans.
His ability to play the long innings is not to be underestimated in the modern age, as he looks set to be a feature in the Kiwi middle order for years to come. His gritty 69 in the first innings at Wellington characterises Williamson as a player, as much as his monumental second innings effort.
Earlier in 2014, he also proved his ability in more alien conditions. His 192 at Sharjah to set up the match for his side, was a victory for his technique and application. To tackle the dual Pakistan spin attack requires skill and no little talent. Williamson passed his sub-continent test with flying colours.
His rise to Test stardom, (he averages 77.50 from 10 Tests in the last year, compared to a career average of just under 46), has co-incided with the best New Zealand Test side in my lifetime. The team are appearing unstoppable in the Test arena, and I think can make a reasonable claim to be one of the pack of teams fighting for World No.1 – even if the rankings don’t show it.
Williamson’s solid technique will stand him in good stead as New Zeland embark on a tour of England early this summer. It will be a good test of Williamson’s credentials. If he can make scores in early season England then he will certainly gain even more plaudits.
Playing for New Zealand in Test cricket has not often attracted plaudits and attention. But the way the Kiwi’s are playing currently, and with Williamson in their middle order, they won’t stay under the radar much longer.
Check out my piece on ‘New Zealand’s Test Resurgence’ here….https://jackvittles.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/new-zealands-test-resurgence