Former New Zealand cricketer-turned-commentator Danny Morrison has praised captain Kane Williamson’s calmness and consistency, saying there is no doubt that the right-handed batter has always been a solid figure in the side at number three.
Williamson came into Friday’s Group 1 Super 12 match in Men’s T20 World Cup against Ireland at Adelaide Oval with questions over his form and inability to accelerate in the showpiece event. But, to the delight of New Zealand, he found his rhythm at the right time after a slowish start with a solid 61 off just 35 deliveries.
He was timing the ball as nicely as he did and picking runs through gaps at will to hit five fours and three sixes at a strike-rate of 174.29 to set the base for a 35-run win and take New Zealand to semi-finals of the tournament.
“I think Kane Williamson has done that (leading the side) in terms of broader picture of him soothing and calming the way he goes about his job. He is just so consistent. When you have a captain like that who is Mr Consistent, and the Aussies will always tell you they want to cut the head of the snake, get the captain out and then get in like hyenas, I think Williamson is definitely that.”
“While others have gone with their style of play, there is no doubt that Williamson has always been solid at number 3. Whether it’s batting in Test matches or batting in the middle order in ODIs or be it opening in T20Is, he brings a calming influence. That’s why he’s key in this India tour (after the T20 World Cup),” said Morrison on Taking Guard: India’s Quest for Kiwi Glory, a recently-launched six-part Mini series on Prime Video.
Senior pacer Tim Southee, who bagged two wickets against Ireland to continue his brilliant run in the tournament, stressed on how New Zealand gets that extra dimension in their varied bowling line-up through tearaway quick Lockie Ferguson’s presence. Ferguson picked three wickets while conceding 22 runs in his four overs to demolish any hopes of an Ireland upset.
“I think that we got a bit of variation. We got left arm, right arm. We have got a guy that can ball one of the fastest balls in the world in Lockie Ferguson. I think he is a massive point of difference to the side. So, I think, just variations that we’ve got and you throw in a couple of good spinners as well.”
Southee signed off by saying New Zealand take pride in adapting to conditions quickly wherever they are playing. “And I guess we try and pride ourselves on, I guess, our cricket smarts and being able to adapt to different conditions, different surfaces. Not only New Zealand, but around the world.”