Kane Williamson enjoyed tremendous success in Test cricket in the past decade and is regarded as one of the finest batsmen of this generation.
Williamson is the new No.1 batsman in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for batting after a century against Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui saw him win the Player of the Match award. The New Zealand batsman has played some exceptional knocks in Test cricket over the years and here we bring you the cream of the lot.
242* vs Sri Lanka in Wellington, 2015
His first Test double century was a masterpiece. Having conceded a 135-run lead to Sri Lanka in the first innings, New Zealand had their backs to the wall. But any doubts about a loss to the Lankans at home was pushed aside as Williamson took control. The No.3 batsman batted for more than 10 hours, facing 438 balls for an incredible double century. He was involved in an unbeaten partnership of 365* with BJ Watling for the sixth wicket, then a record in Test cricket.
It not only gave New Zealand a sizeable lead, but also a victory by 193 runs. Skipper Brendon McCullum was to the point when talking of Williamson after the knock: "I firmly believe Kane could go down as New Zealand's greatest-ever batter."
131 vs India in Ahmedabad, 2010
A Test hundred in Asia is quite an achievement for batsmen from non-Asian countries. Williamson did it on his Test debut in Ahmedabad against a top-quality Indian attack. At the time, Williamson was just the sixth New Zealand batter to make a fifty-plus score on Test debut and the first to do it in India since 1965. His back-foot play, particularly against the spinners, was a sight to behold as New Zealand nearly matched India's first innings total.
A pleased McCullum had some big words about the debutant at the end of the day's play: "His ability to negotiate tough periods and fight his way through. He has a real calm presence at the crease."
251 vs West Indies in Hamilton, 2020
Six hundred and twenty-four minutes at the crease and a double century for the ages! Williamson was at his masterful best in the Hamilton Test earlier this year against the visiting West Indies side. The New Zealand skipper carved out a special knock that proved to be the cornerstone for New Zealand's innings victory. It was Williamson's highest Test score, one that he built by just "trying to stick to plans for long periods of time".
🚨 NEW NUMBER 1 🚨— ICC (@ICC) December 31, 2020
Kane Williamson overtakes Steve Smith and Virat Kohli to become the No.1 in the @MRFWorldwide ICC Test Rankings for batting 🙌
Latest rankings ➜ https://t.co/OMjjVx5Mgf pic.twitter.com/jy5o2qgoKn
Jason Holder, the opposition skipper, was all praise for Williamson after the Test, even asking his teammates to replicate him.
"Kane [Williamson] showed us exactly how it's supposed to be done with a proper Test match innings and if you look at the way Kane set up his innings, just a matter of being patient, buying time, making us bowl a few spells and then he was able to cash in, in the last half of his innings.”
139 vs Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, 2018
A series decider in Asia. His side at 60/4 and still trailing behind Pakistan's first-innings lead. Yasir Shah and Bilal Asif turning the ball square. With odds stacked against him, Williamson went on to script a brilliant Test knock, studded with 13 boundaries. His 139 not only helped New Zealand avert fears of an early defeat, but strongly put them in the driving seat to win the Test, which they later did in remarkable fashion. Williamson won the Player of the Match for his exceptional batting.
He had also notched up 89 in the first innings before the epic century in the second. Incidentally, it was the first time Williamson was dismissed after making a hundred in the second innings of a Test.
Craig McMillan, the New Zealand batting coach at the time, was all praise for Williamson's knock under dire circumstances: "The great thing about Kane is he makes it look easy at times. Those that have been out there have realised how difficult it is."
161* vs West Indies in Bridgetown, 2014
Williamson faced 271 balls in the second innings when none of his mates faced more than 67 as New Zealand built a sizeable lead against the hosts. The unbeaten 161 was Williamson's highest Test score at the time and helped him complete his seventh Test hundred, the joint-most by any New Zealand batsman by the age of 24.
"I am just trying to improve my game all the time and adapt to what's in front of me," Williamson said at the time. "I suppose you learn more and more as you play. I have played a lot recently and that helps. I just want to stay calm and relaxed at the crease and try and score as many runs as I can."
New Zealand went on to script a 53-run win with Williamson winning the Player of the Match award.
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