WTC Final | Special feeling to walk away with an ICC title on a sporting surface, admits Kane Williamson

Post the World Test Championship win, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson called it a special feeling before crediting the win against India to a team effort, from both batting and bowling unit. Williamson also admitted that it is a special feeling for the BlackCaps and credited Taylor’s experience.

Coming into the World Test Championship final, New Zealand had just gone past the English challenge, defeating the hosts 1-0 in the two-match series, which tilted the final in their favour slightly. However, up against them was a tough Indian side, who had only lost against New Zealand in the entire World Test Championship campaign.

It was not just India, who were against them, with the weather consistently threatening to spoil the final, with two days’ play going in the waters. However, on the other days, New Zealand put on an absolute show, with the bat and the ball, to surmount the Indian challenge, winning the final convincingly by eight wickets. At no point in the game were the BlackCaps looking like they were going to finish second.

While Williamson was dismissed for a 49 in the first innings, his second innings effort, unbeaten 52 ensured that the BlackCaps emerged victorious in the maiden World Test Championship final. The Kiwi skipper called the win a ‘special feeling’ and stated that it was nice to get past the dreaded jinx, with the BlackCaps losing their last two ICC finals, in 2019 and 2015 Cricket World Cup, in the post-match presentation.

“Very special feeling, a couple of close ones [in ICC finals], nice to get one under the belt. I’d like to thank Virat and the Indian team, they’re an incredible team, we know how much of a challenge it would be. It was great, the heart our team showed to get across the line, great Test match. I’ve been part of [NZ cricket] for a short while, it’s a very special feeling, the first time in our history we’ve come away with a world title,” Williamson admitted in the post-match presentation.

“We’ve had 22 players over the last two years, and they’ve all played their part and the support staff and the guys who played this match, it’s a special achievement to be savoured,” he added.

Not just that, the Kiwi skipper also credited the entire team for putting on a show, stating that he saw a lot of heart and commitment to their style of cricket in the final. While crediting India for putting on a tough display, the right-handed batsman insisted that the game ebbed and flowed to setup for an interesting finish.

“We know we don’t always have the stars, we rely on other bits and pieces to stay in the game and be competitive. We saw a lot of heart and commitment to our style of cricket in this game, we know how strong this Indian side is, in all conditions. It’s not always easy in a final, a one-off Test match, we respect that, and throughout all six days, it ebbed and flowed, no one really got the upper hand, and it came to the last day which was great for the fans. That was tough [batting in the first innings]. Amazing attack, they don’t give you much to hit,” he added.

In the first innings, the BlackCaps found themselves reeling at 135/5, chasing India’s first innings total of 217. However, useful contributions from the lower order, with 30 from Tim Southee and 21 from Kyle Jamieson gave them a slender lead in the final. Williamson also credited the efforts of senior batsman Ross Taylor during the clash.

“We saw a lot of heart from the lower order who came in and tried to inch us into some sort of lead. It was a very sporting surface, and having only four days’ cricket, there was always a chance of a result. Ross is very experienced and very calm in those sort of situations, it was nice to be in partnership with Ross and be there at the end. A special feeling we haven’t had before.“

Williamson also stated that BJ Watling’s career is one that the entire team will celebrate and added that he ‘epitomises’ the team brilliantly.

“[BJ Watling] I don’t know if he’s retiring anymore, actually [chuckles]. He’s a special member, a leader in our group, and really epitomises our team. A scrappy performance, which is close to his heart, because he’s a scrappy player. A great occasion to celebrate, a great game of cricket, and obviously a great career which we’ll celebrate.”

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