When Carlos Brathwaite mistimed his huge hit that almost certainly may have landed over the ropes, within a micro-second after the tall Barbadian went down on his knees, amongst the first to embrace him warmly was New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
A few hours back, Kane Williamson was the very guy who had played perhaps his best ODI knock thus far of 2019. He was out there, bending on knees, caressing through covers with perfect hand-eye coordination; his 148 being the epitome of batting.
Cool as a cucumber even in pressure situations, emotionless even after winning close games and not forgetting to praise the opponent, that’s what Kane Williamson is, an artist who paints with a bat.
As Trent Boult ran to take a spectacular hit smashed by Craig Braithwaite into the night sky of Manchester, there were extreme emotions in the crowd; some were jumping with joy and some with tears in their eyes as the enigmatic Kiwis prevented West Indies from clinching a thriller.
However amid all, this one man without any emotions walked near a dejected Brathwaite put his hand on his helmet and consoled him, it was none other than winning Captain Kane Williamson.
Billed as the one of the Fab Four of the finest batsmen of his generation, Kane Stuart Williamson has been the least discussed, not because he is lesser than Virat Kohli, Joe Root or Steven Smith but probably unlike them, he does not belong to a country where cricket is so highly celebrated yet if a player who has left a mark on world cricket for generation to follow it has to be Kane Williamson. Calm, unflappable, buckets of patience, respect for opponents and a clean image, Williamson is the only among these four who ticks all the boxes.
Add his batting and he can be considered as a complete role model.
His hundred against South Africa and the West Indies was a demonstration of pure batting master class. In both the innings, he had dropped anchor and taken his side’s innings to the final destination. Against South Africa, he showed that the innings of class, sublime and patience still outranks a fiery, pacey knock under extreme pressure of chase. Against West Indies, his 148 laid the foundation on which the whole bedrock of New Zealand’s innings was built up, which ultimately helped them to win the close contest.
Williamson is unlike Kohli. He does not show emotions, even not like Joe Root who has been keen to take on his opponents at various time. He is neither Steven Smith, who in spite being prolific has an ungainly technique. In fact, he is someone who has his own identity and by the end of his career will surely leave a legacy of his own. The way he adapts is the beauty of his game; if the ball is pitched up, he will move forward, if the ball is short, he will play back.
When the situation demands, he can be solid as a rock and when it requires to be hit, he antes his game to next level of hitting, simple it might look but in reality, it is hard to be so flexible.
At times, he had been compared with Sachin Tendulkar and on a number of other occasions with Jacques Kallis.
While in hindsight, his game may be a mixture of two of the finest cricketers of all time. Like Kallis, he is rock solid, boring sometimes and yet productive and at times he has stroke play, the hunger and calm demeanor of Tendulkar. Most of the greats including late Martin Crowe predicted that by the time Williamson decides to put his bat at rest, he will be the greatest batsmen ever produced by his country and one of the greatest that game has ever seen.
In an era of T20 and madness of witnessing power hitting, when a generation has grown up idolizing to hit right from ball one, cricketers like Kane Williamson are like a breath of fresh air.So let us sit back and watch the man himself paint the World Cup up, with his bat.++