The grace and flow in his batting are hard to ignore. The man slices open attacks by easing into his strokes. A natural with the willow, Kane Williamson is an outstanding leader of men.
But then, even Williamson can go through a phase where tough questions are asked and he has no choice but to answer them.
The recent Kiwi debacle in Australia has meant the side, that prides on punching above its weight, has been pushed against the wall.
And the chances are that the injured Kiwis could come hard at the Indians.
“India is a quality side, it is leading the Test championship and there is a reason for it. They have so many quality batsmen and a world-class attack,” Williamson said on the eve of the first Test, starting Friday.
Williamson conceded he personally wanted more runs in Australia. “More so because it would get the team in good positions,” he said.
Now, India represents an opportunity for him.
The Kiwi skipper conceded he would be missing paceman Neil Wagner - awaiting the birth of his child - in the first Test.
“You sort of don’t replace a guy like Neil. I think the qualities that he brings are quite unique. But you bring in I guess a guy who targets slightly different areas coming from a slightly different height as well. Very exciting opportunity for Kyle Jamieson,” he said.
The Kiwi skipper said batting in New Zealand conditions could be demanding. “It does tend to provide a bit of movement and assistance for the fast bowlers. So leaving the ball well and knowing where your off-stump is important," he said.
Asked whether the Indian batting could be vulnerable around the off-stump, Williamson said, “I think if you can execute your plans on a surface that’s going to provide some assistance, then it’s a challenge for anybody.”
On his bonding with Kohli
“We go quite a long way back really, to our under-19s, and played against each other in different competitions as well, the international arena and the IPL. And I’ve always admired Virat in a lot of ways for setting benchmarks in the international game,” Williamson said.
“It was really interesting the other day to sit down and have a quiet chat on the outfield and share a lot of thoughts that we had and a lot of similar views on the game and slightly different approaches which was really refreshing and quite inspiring as well from a guy who’s leading the way with his tenacious and competitive attitude,” he said.
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