Kane Williamson idolises Sachin Tendulkar and four other things you did not know about the Kiwi magician as he turns 27

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Kane Williamson turns 27 today.

New Zealand stalwart and skipper Kane Williamson turns 27-year-old today as we wish him a happy birthday.

The right-handed batsman has been shining the Kiwi torch bright in the cricketing world with his 17 centuries and over 5000 runs in Tests.

Here are five things you probably did not know about baby-faced assassin.

WILLIAMSON HAS A TWIN BROTHER

The right-handed batsman has a twin brother named Logan who was born just minutes after the New Zealand skipper 27 years ago today. In fact, the twins were undiagnosed and were actually a surprise for the parents who already had three daughters.

The Williamsons were a sporting family with two of the daughters going on to represent New Zealand in volleyball while Kane and his twin brother took up the pursuit of cricket under the watchful eye of their father, Brett who had played club cricket in his younger days.

WILLIAMSON’S DONATION TO THE VICTIMS OF THE PESHAWAR SCHOOL ATTACK

During New Zealands’s tour of the United Arab Emirates in 2014 to take on Pakistan, Williamson donated his entire match fees from the five-match One Day International (ODI) series to the victims and families of the deadly Peshawar attack on an Army school.

The Black Caps skipper and pacer Adam Milne made this sizable contribution to Pakistan batsman Younis Khan to hand over to the families back in Pakistan. Williamson’s men won the ODI series 3-2 along with plenty of Pakistani hearts.

Williamson lifts the ODI trophy after New Zealand's 3-2 win.

Williamson lifts the ODI trophy after New Zealand’s 3-2 win.

THE LITTLE MAGICIAN IDOLISED TENDULKAR SINCE HIS CHILDHOOD

The right-handed batsman has confessed to idolising Sachin Tendulkar when he was growing up. The influence of the Indian superstar on Williamson was so great that the Tauranga born man modelled his game on the legendary batsman.

It would have been a really proud moment for the diminutive Williamson when he scored a magnificent century on his Test debut against India in 2010 in front of his long time idol.

Williamson modelled his game and persona on the little maestro.

Williamson modelled his game and persona on the little maestro.

CRICKET IS NOT THE ONLY SPORT WILLIAMSON HAS EXCELLED IN

Rugby is not the first sport which comes to mind when one thinks of the Kiwi skipper but Williamson is not going to be left behind when it comes to the most popular sport in New Zealand.

The 27-year-old was an excellent fly-half in his school days where he also excelled in another sport you would not associate with the baby-faced Williamson, basketball. He was in fact voted as the most valuable player in the mid-northern junior secondary school tournament.

Williamson excelled in rugby during his school days.

Williamson excelled in rugby during his school days.

LEADERSHIP STARTED FROM SCHOOL

It would come to no one’s surprise to discover that the soft-spoken Williamson was the Head Prefect in his final year at Tauranga Boy’s College in 2008.

If cricket is a gentleman’s game, Williamson would still stand out among all for his gentle demeanour and high values.

The recipient of the 2016 Wisden Cricketer of the Year has carried on the leadership traits from his school days to leading the New Zealand Under-19 team in the World Cup in 2008 when he was just 17. The Black Caps would bow out in the semi-finals against the eventual winners, Virat Kohli’s India.

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Hameed, Hales and other players England can bring in to fix the weak links against West Indies

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England coach Trevor Bayliss conceded that issues remain with the batting personnel, so here’s who’s in contention to earn a place in the England XI against the West Indies next week…

HASEEB HAMEED

England have made little secret that the 20-year-old Lancastrian is their preferred long-term option to be recycled as Alastair Cook’s opening partner. Hameed made an impression in India before injury struck last year – and returned to form for Lancashire this week.

Whether that is enough to restore the necessary confidence in time for the impending daynight Test against the West Indies is open to question.

Haseeb Hameed

Haseeb Hameed

MARK STONEMAN

The selectors have appeared curiously cool about the Surrey opener’s credentials, despite his 761 runs, at an average pushing 60, in his first season at The Oval.

Like Dick Whittington, in his case a few miles further from Durham, Stoneman has made the trip to the capital to further his quest for fame and fortune. It may well yet pay off for the lefthander, but some influential people still seem unconvinced.

Mark Stoneman

Mark Stoneman

ALEX HALES

He has carried his prolific white-ball form into the County Championship, with a run-a-ball double-hundred in his new preferred position in the Nottinghamshire middle order.

Hales is this country’s current in-form batsman, and he is a conceivable alternative for either Keaton Jennings or Dawid Malan – because his previous statistics alongside Cook are not the worst of the 11 different partners tried in the last five years.

Alex Hales

Alex Hales

GARY BALLANCE

The finger he broke in England’s 340-run trouncing at Trent Bridge is likely to keep him out of the reckoning for Edgbaston next week, and such was his onedimensional approach at times on his short-lived comeback at No3 that many will moan at the mere mention of Ballance’s name.

He remains a favourite of captain Joe Root’s, however, from their days growing up at Yorkshire – and it is far from impossible he will be back at some stage.

Gary Ballance

Gary Ballance

CHRIS WOAKES

You do not have to replace a middleorder batsman like-for-like in England’s current team. Woakes’ ongoing recovery from injury may preclude an immediate return on his home ground.

But Bayliss has pointed out that England’s extra batsman in the last two Tests was a contingency for prevailing conditions. Bowling all-rounder Woakes, with nine first-class hundreds to go with 48 wickets in 17 Tests, can help balance a team that bats down to the roller but is flaky up the list.

Chris Woakes

Chris Woakes

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Axar Patel to replace Ravindra Jadeja for third Test against Sri Lanka

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Axar Patel.

Spinner and batsman Axar Patel will replace suspended Ravindra Jadeja in India’s squad for the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, the team said on Wednesday.

Patel, 23, has played 30 one-day internationals and is now in line for his debut Test if he is picked for the match in Pallekele, starting Saturday.

Jadeja, the world’s top Test bowler, was slapped with a one-Test ban for a dangerous throw during his match-winning performance in the second Test in Colombo.

He was also docked half his match fee by the International Cricket Council over the incident, which was his second transgression within a 24-month period.

The Virat Kohli-led India are eyeing a series sweep after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead when they completed an innings win in Colombo on Sunday.

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