I’m fully aware that I got carried away with the Kiwi victory (and James Franklin’s innings especially) on Saturday, but I’ll take these words to the grave.
The fifty over format is not one that I associate with the classical, high-elbowed cover drive. There have always been aesthetes who have employed the shot in ODIs on a regular basis (Tendulkar, Bell etc.), but I believe that, like most, I get lost in the sound and fury of a muscular Chris Gayle leg side swipe; a Dilshan slash over the slips.
The shorter formats have introduced six packs and protein shakes to modern cricket, but some shots remain timeless.
Today I saw a five foot nothing, ten stone, twenty three year old play the most magnificent of One Day innings: 145 not out off of 136 balls, punctuated by 17 fours and a solitary six.
What sticks out in my mind are the cover drives, the soft knock of willow kissing leather, the hungry ball devouring blades of grass as it steams to the boundary rope.
Kane Williamson drove, danced, pulled and swept his way to the big time. The first ODI century he has scored against a ‘major’ nation, may prove to be an unmatchable one, in what I am sure will be a long and fruitful career.
I’m glad I put my work on hold for three hours; witnessing such a pure, timeless century will live with me forever, whether it is part of a losing cause or not, Kane Williamson and cricket lovers world-wide are the true victors today.