Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir had words of praise for New Zealand skipper, Kane Williamson, who led his side fabulously in a virtual do-or-die match against India on Sunday night at the Dubai stadium. Their T20 World Cup campaign is alive and kicking now that they demolished the Men in Blue.
Both teams were under a lot of pressure as a loss for either side would all but end the chances of making it to the semifinals. The team that handles the pressure is the one that prevails, and Williamson’s leadership certainly inspired a stellar performance from the Black Caps.
“New Zealand was exactly in the same position as India today. So they had an equal amount of pressure. I mean, it starts with the leader as well. [For New Zealand] it starts with Kane, the calmness. You don’t have to be on the face all the time.“
“You don’t have to show your emotions [always], sometimes just your positivity and calmness can be equally positive [for] the group as well. Just by reacting to everything doesn’t mean that you are more passionate than someone else.
“Kane doesn’t react to everything but look at the calmness. Sometimes in these crunch games, it’s your calmness that’s much more important than probably your enthusiasm or reaction to everything,” Gambhir said in a conversation with ESPNcricinfo.
“Captain plays an important role in these games, and Kane was brilliant” – Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir added that under the reign of Williamson, New Zealand has made great progress in all three formats. They were very close to winning the 2019 ODI World Cup, losing via a Super Over tie, but managed to go one-up when they defeated India in the WTC Final this June. Now, Williamson has a chance to lead them to a T20 World Cup victory, and he has started off really well, said Gambhir.
“I believe the captain or the leader plays a very important role when it comes to these important games and Kane has been an absolutely brilliant leader on that front. Imagine had they won the 50-over World Cup and the ICC Test Championship and now they are in a race to probably qualify for the semifinals. If they do that, they might just go on to win this T20 World Cup. What better year for New Zealand and it has to start with Kane,” Gambhir mentioned.
New Zealand’s last three matches are against Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland.