Craig McMillan hailed Kane Williamson’s double-century on Day 3 of the first Test against Bangladesh as “terrific" insisting the hard work that is done behind the scenes is what has made the New Zealand captain the batsman that he is today.
Williamson smashed 200* in just 257 balls as New Zealand declared on a massive 715/6 - their highest-ever Test score - in their first innings in Hamilton
“He was sublime today," McMillan said of Williamson. “Whenever the Bangladeshi bowlers missed, he hurt them, he was very efficient when they offered scoring opportunities and created those partnerships that we talk a lot about.
“It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes that allows him to play like that. He’s very hard to bowl at as he bats 360 degrees - all around the wicket. Bowlers only have to err a fraction with Kane, and he hurts them, and we saw that today. A terrific knock all around."
After restricting Bangladesh to 234 in their first innings it was down to the batsmen to give a good account of themselves and they did not disappoint. First, Jeet Raval and Tom Latham smashed tons in a 254-run opening stand before Williamson carried on the effort with a sparkling double-century while other batsmen contributed handsomely as well.
McMillan, the batting coach, who was also at the helm when New Zealand posted their previous highest score of 690 in Sharjah in 2015 said that today’s effort was “historic".
“It was right up there [with the best]," McMillan said after the third day’s play in Hamilton. “Obviously, it was historic in the amount of runs scored, and the contributions throughout the innings makes it very special, and one that the guys are really proud of."
After procuring a mammoth 481-run lead, New Zealand despite a positive start from the visiting batsmen picked up four wickets by the end of the day to take firm control of the Test. McMillan said that the timing of the declaration was done keeping in mind the wear and tear of the surface and when the cracks would open up.
“The milestones weren’t an issue at all. We wanted to bat for a period where we could see the wear and tear in the surface - starting to see those cracks open up and develop a little bit. [Williamson] obviously reached that milestone and thought ‘now’s the time’.
“And we wanted the bowlers to have a decent crack, not just a short hour at the end of the day. To pick up those four wickets was very satisfying at the end of the day."