Cool hand Kane Williamson downplays New Zealand hit streak | New Zealand Cricket Team

For all of those books explaining what the British could learn about health, happiness and all the rest of the Scandinavians, Japanese and French, no one seems to have done much about what New Zealanders have to teach us. Perhaps the problem is persuading them to speak openly about their accomplishments. As Tim Southee said the other day, “It’s not really the Kiwi way.”

So here they are, one of the smallest countries to play cricket, with one of the smallest budgets and the most limited player pools, ranked first in the one-day standings, second in tests, third in T20 and about to play in India in the first. Final of the world test championship.

Before that there are two tests against England, and a return to Lord’s for the first time since the World Cup final in 2019, the ricochet of Ben Stokes’ bat, the super finish, the countdown limits and all that. They seemed a little reluctant to talk about this game, despite attempts to get them to talk about how they’re ready for revenge this week. Their captain, Kane Williamson, doesn’t seem very interested in this sort of thing. He seemed to have quite warm memories of it all.

“There is certainly no question of ‘owing’ anything to anyone. We were both part of a fantastic game which was ultimately decided by things that were largely beyond the control of both teams, ”he said. “Both teams did their best on a wicket that offered a bit for everyone.

“It was a special game to participate in. You can feel whatever you want about the outcome, but there was some fine print and a few other elements that took place in the game. It will always be a match to be fondly remembered, whether you are the good or the bad. bad side. “

There was a fleeting reference to “a rule being adjusted and so on” – the International Cricket Council removed the count of limits that year and replaced it with a second super-top – but Williamson quickly followed with the caveat that “this is all part of the sport”. There is no sense in worrying about what you cannot control.

This phlegmatic attitude is one of the things that has helped his team improve the way they have done it. He’s a cool hand, a calm mind and a capable captain, as well as a great drummer. When Williamson debuted in 2010, New Zealand was ranked eighth in the world. Shortly thereafter, they went through a 19 month period winning one Test in 19. Ten years later, they recently reached the top of the Test Match leaderboard for the first time. “We’ve seen a lot of improvements on the side over a long time and being a part of that growth has been really nice.”

Don’t ask him to explain how they did it. “It is really difficult to stop for a moment in time and pass judgment on all this, when you know that the next day, there is another challenge to take up and that there is always room for you. ‘improve.

“Here we now face another tough challenge against England and then India. So we’re very realistic about where we need to focus and that’s certainly not looking back.”

It helps that the core of his team – Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling – have been by his side all along.

It’s a great group. In New Zealand history, 12 regular batsmen average over 40 in test cricket and 12 regular bowlers average less than 30. Four from the first lot are on this side and three from the second.

While Boult won’t be playing this week or next, a fourth bowler, 6ft 8in Kyle Jamieson, will likely join them on this roster soon enough as he took 36 wickets at 13 points each in his first six games. There’s a solidity, reassuring predictability, to the lineup that makes an intriguing contrast to the more experimental squad England have chosen.

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There’s also a new in-depth force which means they had three good candidates (Tom Blundell, Will Young and the one they picked, Devon Conway) to open the stick alongside Tom Latham and three others (Colin from Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Daryl Mitchell) for the versatile position.

They would never say it – and Williamson refused to do so – but they have to be the strongest test team New Zealand has sent on tour to England, a group that could do remarkable things in the past three. next weeks.

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