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Outplayed in all areas: Kane

Kane Williamson’s cricket career is at a crossroads.

Outplayed in all areas: Kane
Kane Williamson

The New Zealand captain has lost the Test series 0-3 to India and his side’ reputation as one of the best One-Day teams took a jolt on Sunday when MS Dhoni’s men handed them a six-wicket loss in the first One-day International here. 

Williamson has not been lucky with the coin as both Virat Kohli (in 3 Tests) and MS Dhoni (ODI) called correctly; the Kiwi captain has not been amongst the runs too, making it his toughest challenge.

Williamson can haul his side up with a trademark big innings. Since the illness that flattened him before the second test, Williamson scored eight and 27 in Indore (spun out by Ravi Ashwin both times), then three in the first ODI when he slashed and edged to third man.By Williamson’s supreme standards this is verging on a slump.

Sunday also showed how much New Zealand rely on white ball runs from Williamson, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor. When those three miss out the slide hastens, and at 33-3 there was no way back even with opener Tom Latham’s fighting unbeaten 79. 

Taylor’s form is more worrying than Williamson’s with 89 runs in six test innings then a golden duck to an admittedly good one from Yadav. “We were certainly below par in all areas. There’s a lot of exciting players in this side and we are a tight unit so it’s important we stick together and play the cricket we know we can,” Williamson said.

“We know on our day we can beat anyone but we do have to play our best cricket to beat a side like India.” The captaincy hasn’t appeared to be a burden for Williamson and probably still isn’t. The problem is when the key batsmen aren’t scoring heavily and the bowling attack has a pop-gun look to it - as New Zealand’s did on Sunday - then it’s awfully hard for the skipper to conjure anything.

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