Image courtesy of: Zimbio
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been heavily criticised after his side were beaten by eight wickets in the second Test against South Africa in Wellington.
The Black Caps’ loss puts them in a tough position going into the third and final Test in Hamilton on Saturday as they need to win in order to end the series as a draw.
What makes their chances of victory even harder is the fact that they will be without batsman Ross Taylor and the pace duo of Tim Southee and Trent Boult as all three of them are injured.
However, South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis believes that Williamson shouldn’t be targeted, especially as he has contributed with the bat, scoring 133 runs, which includes a century, at an average of 44.33.
“I think it’s unfair. I think he’s done really well with the New Zealand team,” Du Plessis said. “He’s a fantastic player. I’ve read a lot of times that he’s the best number three in the world.
“It comes with not winning. It’s part of our job as captain and sometimes it’s not nice, sometimes you feel it’s not deserved.
“The New Zealand team have done some really good things in the last while. The one-dayers were a huge win for us especially with their track record and for the Tests it’s really important we win the series.”
With Southee and Boult out, New Zealand have called up uncapped pace bowler Scott Kuggeleijn.
Speaking about Kuggeleijn, Williamson admitted that the 25-year-old could be a useful asset should he be given the chance to make his debut in Hamilton.
“He’s an exciting prospect, been playing very well for a number of years at domestic level,” Williamson said. “He’s been one of the top performers with the ball in hand but has also scored a number of runs in that middle to lower order.
“We have a number of injuries so it’s a great opportunity for him to come into the environment. There are a number of young guys in the team and they’re really looking forward to the challenge of playing one of the best teams in world cricket.
“We want to go out show some fight, play a few shots, bowl in the right areas, be nice and aggressive and leave it all out on the field.”