‘Steady the Ship’, a phrase and a nickname given to the reliable and consistent, Kane Williamson. The New Zealand skipper turns 31 on August 8 and it seems as Williamson gets older, the wiser and mature he gets. Known as ‘Mr Nice Guy’ for his calm demeanor and composure on and off field, Williamson has earned major respect outside New Zealand too, especially having a massive fanbase in India. The Kiwis skipper turns 31 and in his defining illustrious career so far, Williamson added a golden feather to his cap this year as he led New Zealand to lift the maiden World Test Championship (WTC) trophy in June.
In a total of 24 Test centuries scored till date along with four double centuries, we look back at the New Zealand skipper’s greatest knocks in Test cricket.
131 vs India, Ahmedabad, 2010
A debut to remember. A young 20-year-old Williamson was handed the opportunity to face at the time the mighty Indians and it was considered difficult for any non-Asian batsman to score a century in Asia. India posted 487 in the first innings, courtesy of Virender Sehwag’s 173 and Rahul Dravid’s 104. Leaving his mark and squaring up to the greats at the time, Williamson went on to score a classy 131 in 299 deliveries, which only included 10 fours. The match ended in a draw but Williamson announced his arrival in Test cricket.
161* vs West Indies, Bridgetown, 2014
In an innings where no New Zealand batsman was able to face more than 67 deliveries, wickets were falling like nine pins, but Mr. Reliable was present, who faced 271 deliveries to notch up an unbeaten 161 against West Indies in Bridgetown, 2014. The swashbuckler at the time notched up his highest score in Test cricket and also led New Zealand forward to take a massive lead against the hosts. He scored his seventh Test century, most by any New Zealand batsman at the age of 24.
242* vs Sri Lanka, Wellington, 2015
A 135-run lead by Sri Lanka at home had the hosts in a tight spot and in a position, where they needed a saviour. Well, stepping was Williamson, who steadied the Kiwis onwards and went on to smash his first double century. Facing near 438 deliveries and batting for over 10 hours, Williamson smashed an inspiring double ton and other than his achievement, the No.3 batsman stitched an unbeaten 365 partnership with BJ Watling for the sixth wicket.
251 vs West Indies, Hamilton, 2020
The highest score for Williamson till date and it was a magnificent knock against the West Indies in their yard. Batting for over 10 hours at the crease, leading by example and showing the rest of the world what determination and patience achieves, Williamson knocked up his third Test double century which led New Zealand to win the match against the Windies.
49 & 52* vs India, World Test Championships Final, 2021
It is not a century, neither a double century which defines a captain, but a knock, which lead the nation to achieve their maiden international championship victory. In the World Test Championships finals against India, rain played spoilsport, washing out days and sessions. However, whenever the green signal was given to play at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, New Zealand had India wrapped up. Williamson scored 49 in the first innings of the finals which assisted New Zealand to take a slender lead. However, knowing English conditions well, the New Zealand attack bundled out India for 170 in 73 overs in their second innings. Chasing a target of 138, Williamson along with Taylor played some calm cricket and eventually led New Zealand to win the maiden World Test Championships finals.