Dylan Cleaver provides five takeaways from day two of the first test between the Black Caps and the West Indies.
22 for 22
Kane Williamson has a test century count to match his shirt number, though you suspect it won't be the case for long. Williamson was already the New Zealand record-holder for centuries and has extended his lead over Ross Taylor to three. He rises to 31st equal all-time and joins some illustrious names including Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, AB de Villiers, Geoff Boycott, Ian Bell and Mohammad Azharuddin.
Williamson scores a century every 3.68 tests, which is outstanding, but every now and then it is worth remembering the guy who batted on a different plane to the rest of humanity. Sir Donald Bradman scored a century every 1.79 tests. Steve Smith is a clear second on 2.81.
Xmas pantomime time: Look out behind you!
If you look at New Zealand cricket as a historic whole, the clamour to drop a 29-year-old batsman with five test centuries and an average of 39 would seem vaguely ridiculous. But these are extraordinary times and Henry Nicholls will need no reminding that Devon Conway, Will Young and Glenn Phillips are building strong cases for inclusion.
Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Nicholls has not reached 50 in 13 innings and has accumulated just 244 runs at 20.33. He had significant capital to that point but knows he needs a score soon.
The hurt locker
The West Indies took the field with a couple of significant changes on day two. It was clear from the fact he required medical transport from the boundary edge to the changing sheds yesterday that Darren Bravo was going to struggle. Scans on his Achilles tendon revealed a mild strain.
More significantly, wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich was unable to take the field due to an injured right hand, which might explain his shoddy performance behind the poles on day one. Shamarh Brooks took the big gloves instead and had immediate success, catching Taylor off Shannon Gabriel.
Career of two (almost) halves
Midway through October 2016, Shannon Gabriel had played 21 tests and taken just 40 wickets at a cost of more than 40 apiece. His career was going nowhere fast. Since then he has played 28 tests and has well north of 100 wickets in that time at well south than 30 apiece. The 32-year-old Trinidadian runs in hard and has added a big heart to his obvious physical gifts. His 3-89 undersold his efforts.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Six and out
Tim Southee added another six to his tally, taking him to 73, equal with Ricky Ponting at No 15 on an all-time list led by Brendon McCullum (107). The notable thing about Southee's "achievement" is he's the only man in the top 47 to have not scored a century.