Australia vs New Zealand: Ricky Ponting decodes Kane Williamson’s technique, gives tips on how to unsettle Kiwi captain
Williamson enjoyed a successful tour of Australia last time the Kiwis came calling. He scored centuries in Brisbane and Perth during the 2015, but failed to make an impact in the day-night Test at Adelaide.Updated: Dec 05, 2019 13:43 IST
The upcoming Test series between Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand will be a chance for cricket purists to enjoy a battle between two of the world’s best Test batsmen. Australian run-machine Steve Smith will be pitted against Kiwi skipper and smooth operator Kane Williamson.
For Australia to win this series at home, it will be necessary for their bowlers to not let Williamson get his eye in. The Blackcaps captain is an accumulator of runs, just like Smith, and loves to get big scores under his belt. One man who knows a lot about scoring bagful of runs in Australian conditions is former captain and Baggygreens legend Ricky Ponting.
The Tasmanian recently spoke to cricket.com.au and decoded Williamson’s batting technique and suggested ways to the Aussie bowlers on how to get the better of Williamson.
“He’s a bit like Smithy (in Test cricket); he’s very regimented in the way he plays, he plays the ball late, he doesn’t get a big stride at the ball. But he’s just really hard to get out so I’m looking forward to the battle between him and our quicks,” Ponting was quoted as saying.
Williamson enjoyed a successful tour of Australia last time the Kiwis came calling. He scored centuries in Brisbane and Perth during the 2015, but failed to make an impact in the day-night Test at Adelaide. Luckily for the Aussies, the Kiwis start this tour with a pink ball match.
Ponting suggested where should the Australian bowlers look to bowl to Williamson to create some problems for him.
“I think you’ve got to bowl to him a little bit like I think how you should bowl to Smithy - on a fourth or fifth stump line and reasonably full.
“He plays the ball really late and drops the ball down to third man a lot, so I think your third slip can be up really close to make him think he can’t play that shot in case it carries to slip,” Ponting opined.
The former skipper also suggested fielding techniques which could unsettle Williamson.
“(You should) play around with the field behind the wicket, just to get him thinking about it. He looks like one of those guys that, like Smithy, once they get into their bubble and they’re happy with the way everything’s going, you can’t unsettle them, and you can’t get them out.
“So I think you have to unsettle him first and sometimes that’s as easy as just a strange field placement. Put someone in a different spot just to get the batsman thinking ‘what are they doing here?’
“If you just get him thinking something different, you can be a step ahead,” Ponting said.