New Zealand captain Kane Williamson revealed his reaction to the visitor’s five-wicket loss in the second Test at Trent Bridge and applauded England for their courageous efforts in the challenging chase.
Williamson missed the second Test because of testing positive for COVID-19 and was forced to isolate himself for five days. Tom Latham stood as captain of the Black Caps in the second Test in Williamson’s absence.
England thumped New Zealand in an epic chase
New Zealand set England a target of 299 on the final day of the second Test in Nottingham. All it took for England was 50 overs and a charged-up Jonny Bairstow in support of new Test skipper Ben Stokes to script another classic run-chase in Test cricket.
Bairstow scored the second-fastest hundred by an England batter in 77 balls, one short of the record held by Gilbert Jessop in 1902 against Australia. The Yorkshire batter obliterated the New Zealand bowling attack comprising Boult, Tim Southee, Matt Henry and Michael Bracewell during the chase.
The capacity crowd at Trent Bridge was fortunate enough to witness Bairstow’s brutal shots, including 14 boundaries and seven sixes at a strike rate of 147.83, which is the highest strike rate while chasing a target in a Test match.
Stokes played the second fiddle during his 179-run alliance with Bairstow but once the latter was caught behind off Boult’s bowling, the England skipper charged down to provide the finishing touches with an undefeated 75 in 70 balls (10 fours and four sixes).
It was interesting to watch and connect from the other side: Kane Williamson
While reflecting on his thoughts on losing the second Test, Williamson said he watched the game from his hotel room to pass his isolation period. The New Zealand captain praised their opponents for their approach in the chase.
“I don’t shout at the TV, I watch and observe. It’s always interesting seeing it from a different perspective, although it wasn’t my preferable place to be. It was interesting to watch and connect from the other side a little bit. I watched a lot of it, I didn’t have too much else to do,” Williamson said on Wednesday in a press conference ahead of the third and final Test at Headingley.
“There was a lot of effort that went into the match (at Trent Bridge) and you do have to applaud the quality England have come in with. It was a Test where both teams put their front foot forward and played some shots.
“England are a strong side playing well, so for us, it’s about improving as a side… (that’s the) bigger picture. Their style is theirs. It appears to have evolved a little bit. For us it’s focusing on our cricket and finding different areas of the game to target and be aware they are choosing to play a different brand that seems to be suiting them. The focus is us and wanting to be better,” he added.
England and New Zealand will play the third Test on Thursday (June 23) at the Headingley in Leeds. The hosts have already sealed the three-match series with an unassailable 2-0 lead.