Looking back at day 6 of the WTC final, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has admitted that India had a fair shot at winning the final if they had scored a few more runs with the bat. He also revealed that he took his chances with the DRS against Ravichandran Ashwin, trying to save his wicket.
While the rivalry between the two sides was incredible, the WTC Final was marred with consistent spells of rain and bad light. Despite that, the New Zealand bowlers on the sixth day of play ensured that all three results were possible. After the first hour of the day, Kyle Jamieson’s spell put the BlackCaps on the driver’s seat, with them just needing to score 139 runs in the final session and half to lift the title.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, in an interview with India Today, admitted that India had a fair shot of winning the final if they had scored extra 20-30 runs towards the end of their innings. Williamson pointed out that batting during the last three hours of the game was incredibly hard, with the surface enabling the bowlers to have a go at the batsmen.
"For us it was very much going in the day, expecting every result was realistic and trying to do as well as we could. Nothing different from the last few days and see how games unfurl and opportunity arises. It was great to take early wickets on that, that set up more chances of result on that day. India team counter-attacked after that, India had a fair shot too if they had scored the runs quickly or scored more. Surface was offering to bowlers. It was intense for us," Williamson told India Today.
However, after weathering the initial storm, with the fall of two quick wickets, New Zealand’s veteran batsmen - Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor - ensured that there were no further hiccups as they muscled their way to an eight-wicket win. Things would have gone differently if the New Zealand skipper did not review the decision against Ravichandran Ashwin, which gave him another life.
“It was close. But the way Ravi (Ashwin) spins the bowl, I thought I might have a chance. So I decided to review it, and It turned out my way,” he added.
With a lot of debates about the match-practise before the final, Williamson pointed out that anything could have happened in the final, considering the Dukes ball, which empowered the bowlers.
“There is no right and wrong answers for it. We all know India has a world-class Test team. Yes, in England, with Dukes ball, different things happen all the time, but everyone saw that India was equally competitive. The match could have gone either way,” said Williamson.
“It was an amazing game to be part of. The match could have gone either way. Unfortunately, there were weather interruptions, but still, we were able to get the result. I am just glad to be part of the special game,” added Williamson.
For the BlackCaps, it was Kyle Jamieson who led the proceedings with the ball, picking up seven crucial wickets in the final, including dismissing Indian skipper Virat Kohli twice. Williamson pointed out that his biggest strength is not what he brings onto the cricketing field but the efforts he puts off it, stating that his attitude is perhaps his biggest asset, always having an eye for improvement.
“Absolutely, he is a brilliant player, he is come into the international scene relatively new and has brought his own attitude to the table. He always wants to contribute and be in the game, he has done that, not just with the ball but with the bat also, he has been vital for us. His significant spells have ensured that our team to the top with a keen eye on improvement. His attitude is perhaps his best asset to his game and we will see him improving.”