Australia vs New Zealand: ‘Terrific work ethic’ - Steve Smith explains similarities between himself and Kane Williamson
Australia cricketer Steve Smith hailed New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson as a ‘quality player’ ahead of Test series between the two teams starting Thursday. Australia host New Zealand in a three-match Test series with the first match set to be played in Perth, followed by a day-night contest in Melbourne and the final clash in Sydney. Smith lauded Williamson’s ability to play late and also explained similarities between his batting style and that of the Kiwi talisman.
“Terrific work ethic, a good eye and plenty of time,” Smith was quoted as saying by ICC. “I think he has loads of time against quick bowling. He is a quality player and hopefully we can keep him quiet this series.”
“I think we actually hold the bat reasonably similarly,” he said. “He has got quite a closed grip. I like that in Test cricket personally. It just helps playing the ball a bit later and I think (Williamson) plays it a bit later than anybody else in the world ... He plays the ball incredibly late, he is patient.”
New Zealand know they need to re-adapt quickly to the nuances of day-night cricket to have any hope of winning a first series in Australia for more than 30 years.
The Kiwis last played a day-night Test nearly two years ago against England in Auckland, while the Australians are fresh from thrashing Pakistan by an innings and 48 runs under lights in Adelaide last week.
The visitors received some good news with all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme fit after tearing an abdominal muscle in the first Test against England last month.
Injured bowling spearhead Trent Boult also missed the second Test against England but has recovered sufficiently from a side strain to make the plane to Australia.
He shapes up as a potential match-winner on a Perth pitch expected to offer pace and bounce, along with fellow quick bowlers Tim Southee and Neil Wagner.
((With AFP inputs))