Mount Manganui, Dec 30 | New Zealand captain Kane Williamson called the World Test Championship (WTC) points ‘a carrot’ to win matches but refused to look too far ahead to the WTC final next year saying that he’d rather focus on the present.
“Our focus is on the present. Absolutely, we want to play the World Test Championship final, and we saw it in the final session today, when there was that carrot in mind. But in Tests, you know that it’s all about going moment by the moment, and that’s what you play with,” said Williamson after his team defeated Pakistan by 101 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.
“It (to play in the World Test Championship final) provides the context and added intensity, specially when it comes down to crunch moments like we saw today in the last session…. It’s moment by moment for five days, that’s why there’s so much enjoyment out of playing the game. It’s good that we are still in the hunt for that (top-two finish) but we know that there’s still a lot more cricket to be played,” said Williamson whose team is third behind Australia and India in the points table.
Pakistan were, at one point, looking to draw the Test through centurion Fawad Alam and skipper Mohammed Rizwan. The two added 165 runs for the fifth wicket and consumed 63.2 out of the 90 overs on the final day.
“They (the bowlers) were outstanding. Kept passing the bat. The conditions were a bit different from what we’re used to, but it also brought the spinner into play. Full credit to Pakistan for the way they fought on the last day, and brought the draw into play. We have a number of leaders in the team to bounce a few ideas off and get a different perspective.”
Losing captain Rizwan blamed his side’s fielding and batting for the loss. He praised pace bowler Neil Wagner for bowling with an injured toe.
“New Zealand did very well, our guys fought well, but I must give credit to Wagner who bowled with an injured toe,” said Rizwan.