Getting the player of the tournament award and still emerge as the second best side in a World Cup final, who better than Sachin Tendulkar to understand Kane Williamson’s plight? Sure ICC would not have had any idea that Tendulkar handing over the player of the tournament award to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson would become one of the most shared photos. Sure they had no clue that the final would turn out the way it did, that it would need the first-ever Super Over in an ODI and yet fail to separate the two sides. But one shouldn’t find fault if the game’s parent body puts its imaginary collar saying ‘that’s the way to host a tournament and that’s how you cap it off’.
So when the show had finished but the drama did not, what exactly did Tendulkar say to Williamson during the post-match presentation? “Your game was appreciated by all and you had a great World Cup.” No hard luck, no comment on the Super Over, nothing about the boundary count rule, just plain and simple admiration coming from someone who had already been in a somewhat similar situation in 2003 World Cup. Of course, India were beaten by Australia comprehensively, unlike New Zealand but Tendulkar had reasons to feel aggrieved. He had scored 673 runs in that tournament – still the most by any best in a single edition of a World Cup.
Williamson, for his part, scored 578 runs in the tournament – the most by a captain in a World Cup and Tendulkar credited his calm demeanour for the same.
“The best thing about Williamson is ability to stay calm. He doesn’t lose his composure in any circumstances. It was unfortunate that he could not win the World Cup but it did not reflect on his face,” Tendulkar told 100Mb.
Showering praise on the New Zealand skipper, Tendulkar said, Williamson has a unique style of captaincy. “Williamson sees the game from an entirely different perspective. His field placements, bowling changes while defending a low score is commendable. Even when Jadeja was playing big shots in semi-final, he was calm and in the end, the result was in his favour.”
Tendulkar also explained these qualities compelled him to select Williamson as the captain of his World Cup XI.