As Trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand gear up to restart their Test rivalry, Australia star Steve Smith has drawn a comparison between himself and Kane Williamson. The much-anticipated Test series will get underway in Perth from Thursday. It will be a day-night affair as both the in-form teams will be looking to continue their fine run in the ongoing season.
After retaining the Ashes in England, Australia recently thrashed Pakistan in the two-match home Test series. The Tim Paine-led side thoroughly outplayed the visitors and won both the games by innings to move to the second spot in ICC World Test Championship table. New Zealand, on the other hand, beat England at home but the series was not a part of the Test championship.
Smith on Williamson:
Steve Smith and Kane Williamson’s performance can very well decide the outcome of the series. Both the players are the batting mainstays for their respective teams. With both the teams having some world-class bowlers in their ranks, the onus will be on Smith and Williamson to deliver the goods. And ahead of the series, Smith has said he has a similar bat grip to that of New Zealand captain.
“I think we actually hold the bat reasonably similarly,” Smith was quoted as saying by icc-cricket.com. “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.”
“Terrific work ethic, a good eye and plenty of time. I think he has loads of time against quick bowling. He is a quality player and hopefully, we can keep him quiet this series,” he added.
Australia, meanwhile, will be the favourites for the series. Not only form but history is also on their side. New Zealand haven’t won a Test series in Australia since 1985 and will have to be at their absolute best to register a historic triumph.
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