Kane Williamson says “the epitome of calmness in a mad, mad world” in the T20 World Cup. He is unlike any other player. When teams chase in a must-win game and they lose the first wicket rather quickly. There’s a certain amount of panic that sets in. If it is the tournament favorites against the lowest-ranked team. Also, the panic is an understandable reaction. It doesn’t apply to Kane Williamson, though. When he walked out to bat with the score at 26 for 1. Against Afghanistan, New Zealand was in a spot of bother. Yes, they needed only 99 more runs to win. But the wicket was a tricky one to bat on.
Furthermore, it was only Afghanistan. But if 1.3 billion Indian fans were to believe, then Afghanistan was no cakewalk. They believed that even after their team had thrashed Afghanistan by 66 runs only a week before. But it seemed as if Afghanistan was a side capable of toppling Williamson.
However, the man himself didn’t. Just because Williamson walked out. If it was a practice session. And then he proceeded to bat was just a practice session. He was there to experiment with it. Also, find new ways to practice his strokeplay.
In this, was a game as big as they come. But Williamson remained unflustered and uncomplicated in his approach. A loss here would have sent New Zealand tumbling out of the competition. This was a virtual quarter-final for Williamson and go to the semis. With 99 runs to get off 101 balls, one reckless swing of Williamson’s bat. He could have turned the tide against New Zealand. One more wicket and pandemonium could have set in. It needed was a singular moment of panic. In the one loose shot and one brain fade moment.
Lastly, Martin Guptill was on the other end of the line. He is a white-ball cricketer who has been one of New Zealand’s most consistent players over the last decade. And he just has one hitting style: he goes for it, and he goes for it hard. That isn’t a problem unless you have to cope with the wily Rashid Khan’s four overs.