PERTH (Reuters) – Kane Williamson believes all three results are back on the table in the second test after Ross Taylor’s unbeaten 235 and his own 166 brought New Zealand within 49 runs of Australia’s huge first innings total on Sunday.
Anything but an Australian victory and unassailable 2-0 series lead looked highly unlikely after the hosts racked up 416-2 on the opening day on their way to 559-9 declared.
The tourists got themselves right back in the contest on the back of a record stand of 265 between Taylor and Williamson on day three, however, and even if a draw looks the most likely result, the 25-year-old New Zealander was ruling nothing out.
“We still are a little bit behind in this match, on the scoreboard obviously, but having to bat last could bring its challenges as well,” he told ABC radio at the WACA.
“It’s important we look to play well in the first session tomorrow and take it from there. It’s looking like the three results are still open which makes it an exciting game.”
Taylor’s double century was the first for a New Zealander against their trans-Tasman Sea rivals and a brilliant return to form for a batsman who had looked a shadow of his once imposing self in the opening test in Brisbane.
The 31-year-old was forced to pull out of New Zealand’s southern African tour earlier this year to undergo surgery for a nasty groin injury he suffered in the nets.
His previous eight innings this year had netted just one half century but he blew away any concerns about his future in a torrent of runs on Sunday.
“He’s batting fantastically, hopefully he can come out and continue tomorrow,” Williamson added.
“What an outstanding knock from Rosco, it was certainly one of his better ones.”
Williamson boosted his own growing stature as one of the best batsmen in the world with a second century in the series, his fourth in nine innings this year.
His satisfaction at being part of the highest partnership by a pair of New Zealand batsmen against Australia and helping New Zealand to 510 for six at stumps was tempered only by having been dismissed to leave Taylor to bat on without his support.
“I suppose you always want more,” he said. “It would have been nice to stick around with Ross, who was knackered at the end of the day, and it would have been nice to keep each other ticking over. It was a brilliant knock from him.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Patrick Johnston)