Riding high on his current red-hot form in the ongoing ODI series against India, New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson has said he is now eyeing a place in all three formats for the national side.
Williamson was declared the man-of-the-match in the second ODI against India on Wednesday at Hamilton after the hosts posted a 19-run (D/L method) win in a rain-curtailed match reduced to a 42-over-a-side affair.
“I enjoy batting at number three,” Williamson said after his team’s victory in the second ODI that helped New Zealand take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
“I’m enjoying my game at the moment. May be that explains my good run recently. But it’s a number of factors that helps me put on some partnerships with the boys. I am enjoying this role and hopefully we can keep it going as we go forward.”
In the first ODI at Napier, he had scored 71 runs and was involved in a 121-run partnership for the third wicket with Ross Taylor, while in next match, he made 77 while adding another 60 runs with the same partner.
Both stands were crucial in the sense that they allowed New Zealand to counter the Indian spinners in the middle overs and render their part-timers ineffective, thus laying the platform for Corey Anderson to plunder runs at will in the death overs.
“Fifty overs is a long time. We want to make use of all the overs and use the new rules, setting it up with wickets in hand and then power down at the bottom of the order towards the end. It helps me that the openers can play a few shots and then there is the middle order to prop up the score. So I can keep working on partnerships,” he said.
Williamson has been the pick of the Kiwi batsmen this season with his last 12 international outings reading — 67, 114, 74, 62, 45, 58, 56, 8, 47, 16, 71 and 77. He was their best batsman against the West Indies in both the ODIs and Tests, and prior to that he was in a similar purple patch on the tour of Bangladesh, stretching back all the way to England.
It can be said that the Black Caps’ new-found batting strategy completely revolves around the 23-year-old. Even then he is not satisfied, having been left out of the T20s against West Indies at home.
To make a point, while playing for Northern Districts, he smacked 79 not out off 55 balls studded with seven fours and a six in the HRV T20 preliminary final against Canterbury.
“At the moment, the focus is very much on one-day cricket and the role that I have got. I want to be playing all formats but I am aware that I need to keep improving in that area (attacking). It was nice to go back and play the domestic T20s, because we had a very successful campaign,” Williamson signed off, sending a message to the selectors.