R Ashwin and Kane Williamson are the two most different Test centurions.

“The only thing I’ve ever made se…” Kane Williamson refused to use the word “sexy” at all. In the press conference, he was being questioned about how he had transformed the ordinarily unremarkable expression “it is what it is” into a seductive phenomena. You did see a glimpse of a small smile crossing Williamson’s lips before his ever-monastic face took over once more. As with everything else, the 33-year-old played down the suggestion, even though he pointed to the reporter who had first questioned him about it when he purposefully used it for another response.

It was simply Kane for the remainder. Kane as usual. Kane’s daily routine. The bland, uninteresting, yet polite Kane. The Kane of “it is what it is.”

The fact that Williamson will begin his 100th Test in Christchurch one day after R Ashwin does so in Dharamsala is kind of an odd coincidence. Additionally, Ashwin’s press conference took place one day ahead of the former captain of New Zealand. It wasn’t quite Ashwin’s press conference signature, though. He was strong, to be sure, but he lacked that innate toughness. Although he was direct in his responses, there was not an aggressive tone to them all. Though he occasionally has a tendency to do so, he was thoughtful without feeling overly inclined to argue with any of the questions that were put to him. After all, there have been instances where Ashwin has responded to queries with his own if he doesn’t think yours is worthy of a rating. It wasn’t to be in this place.

But Ashwin did everything. Never a boring time. There was never a query that he didn’t attempt to address directly. Not even an opportunity to turn away. The Ashwin who says, “This is me.”

Williamson may not have appreciated being called “dull” by a journalist at one point, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything uninteresting about him. But once more, without really voicing a bitter complaint about it. Simply put, forget about his not setting his cards faceup on the table—you sometimes question if he even brings the pack to the table.

The truth is that you always know what to anticipate from Williamson and Ashwin, despite their divergent personalities. They also never let you down. It’s about who and how they are, and it’s undoubtedly about what you can anticipate from both of them on the pitch.

Two more well-known cricket players from each of the two Test series will participate in their 100th match. Having already done so, Jonny Bairstow was once more defeated by the cunning of Kuldeep Yadav. Additionally, Tim Southee, who is the first fast bowler from New Zealand, will be tossing the ball on Friday morning (March 8) when he walks out to do so.

However, Ashwin and Williamson are two of the most unique characters in the modern game, so it is somewhat ironic that they are reaching such a big milestone at the same time.

There are two cricketers in the world: the one that everyone believes they must love and the other that most people feel they must find a reason not to like. If there’s never a doubt about falling for Williamson’s sincere kindness in any circumstance, there’s always a concern about Ashwin’s borderline abrasiveness in some circumstances. Once more, it’s not meant as a dig on him.

Not many cricket players are as at ease in their own skin as Ashwin is, almost to the point of being irritating. If anything, his ability to remain ultimately true to himself has allowed him to succeed thus far and produce world-beating figures.

However, one must question the extent to which Ashwin’s critics’ unrelenting condemnation of him as a person has been more significant than the criticism that has accompanied him throughout his career. It’s not like he can change who he is, nor is it necessary for him to.

In contrast, consider the widespread respect that Williamson has received throughout both the good and bad moments in the Black Caps’ storied career. Over the years, Williamson has also had to deal with some unpleasant responses, but they always seem to be muffled by the distinct reminder that he’s still Kane.

In terms of their cricket, you can also see an extension of who and how they are. Not to mention how dissimilar. The foundation of Williamson’s game is simplicity. But Ashwin is a complex person. Everything that Williamson the batter performs in the middle is consistent and exact. Ashwin, the bowler, is a mysterious and suspenseful figure in the middle.

However, you won’t be able to look away from the cricket when one of them is playing. If Williamson’s bowling technique is all nuance and dexterity, Ashwin’s bowling is the epitome of scientific brilliance.

Although their paths to this point have also been distinct, there is a connection that neither of them would have chosen to ignore. It is related to the formality surrounding both of their statistics. Williamson and Ashwin appear to be contemporary greats who will undoubtedly be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But hardly a day goes by that some aspects of their figures are exposed, leading people to doubt not just their qualifications but also their statuses.If Ashwin’s performance outside of the subcontinent and the West Indies is unnecessarily emphasised as a disparity, many people are perpetually troubled by Williamson’s averages versus Australia, England, and India. This series has already covered it, particularly following his two defeats in Wellington. With so many nit-pickers poised to pounce, it won’t be long before Ashwin’s figures in Australia start making the rounds.

It is unlikely that either will attempt to change their affiliation at this point in their careers, having gone this far in their careers. Williamson and Ashwin have demonstrated that they intend to be true to themselves for the duration of their careers, which will only serve to solidify their legacy. One would assume that the two will exit the game in different ways and that it will take a long time for their respective teams to bounce back from their defeats.

A single passage from Williamson’s news conference arguably captures the most significant distinction between the two.

“I recall seeing all of my heroes when I walked outside and looked around the pitch. When I was younger, I used to like playing backyard cricket, and I would attempt to pick the squad, which included all those men. Laxman, Dravid, and Tendulkar were there, and it was kind of like, “How am I here? On his first day out as a Test hitter in Ahmedabad in late 2010, Williamson said, “I’d better start watching the ball and try and compete.”You simply get the impression that Ashwin would not elevate anyone. Not in public, anyhow. Particularly not when he’s still playing cricket. Nonetheless, it was charming to listen to him discuss his main home obstacles at the press conference. However, in some circles, that will also result in a response or rebuttal of some kind. However, as Williamson would say, in the end, “it is what it is.”

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