For Kesrick Williams, Sunday (July 2), was a chance to prove his worth. However, the challenge before him was an enormous one. Playing only his second One-Day International, the right-arm pacer was given the task of containing MS Dhoni in the final overs of the fourth ODI.
India was chasing 189 and a single good over would have made it easy for them to chase down the small total. And although West Indies was picking wickets at regular intervals, Dhoni’s presence was always a big threat.
However, Williams did an outstanding job, never allowing the former India skipper to break the shackles which eventually helped the hosts to beat the visitors by 11 runs in the low-scoring affair. Williams conceded only 13 runs off the 33 balls he bowled to Dhoni before dismissing the 35-year old on the final delivery of the penultimate over to all but end India’s hopes. India was eventually all out for 178 in 49.4 overs.
Brimming with confidence after his match-defining spell on Sunday, Williams, on Thursday (July 4), said that he was confident of doing the work for his team.
“To be honest, I was really confident. These are the times I live for. Only two things can happen, you can either come out victorious or lose. These are the times I really want to cherish and grab. When I got the ball in my hand I asked the skipper, ‘how much do you want me to defend? He said how much you can? I said I can go about 2 runs this over. And he said that would be great, if you give me that, I can work with that in the end.’ I just executed whatever he asked me to do,” he said.
Williams has made a name for himself for his ability to blend good pace with slower deliveries and his expertise was on full display at a two-paced wicket in Antigua. However, the ability to mix up the deliveries has not come easy for him, as he works hard in the nets to improve the skills.
“You have to practice slower deliveries, you have to bowl in the right areas. I work hard in the nets on these aspects. I can still bowl at 85mph or 86mph. And when you can drop it down to 62-63mph, it becomes hard for the batsman to pick. So I try to get that into my game,” he said.
Williams also revealed that head coach Stuart Law had given him the task of ‘being the live wire in the field’ after the side fell to cross the 200-run mark for the fourth consecutive time in the series.
“Before we went outside, the coach came up to me and said ‘listen, I want you to be the live wire, I want you to be the guy chirping.’ I felt good about it and did what the coach and skipper asked me to do. The guys felt good and dived around and took the catches. We dropped one catch but these things happen in cricket. So it is just a matter of going to the nets and executing what the coaches say,” he said.