Can Kane Williamson be the greatest New Zealand batsman of all time?

New Zealand has produced many world-class players in the past. Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle, Brendon McCullum being some of the greatest New Zealand batsmen of all time. Kane Williamson is the new kid on the block. Aged just 26, he has taken the world by storm by his batting exploits. Kane Williamson has had an amazing career so far and has won accolades from all quarters. He is currently ranked 2rd in tests and 5th in ODIs.

Though many talented batsmen have turned out for New Zealand in the recent times, not many have been able to perform consistently at the highest level. But this is where Kane Williamson defers from his teammates. Since making his debut in 2010, Kane Williamson has been a regular in the playing eleven and never got dropped even though he did take some time to settle in the ODIs. However he was briefly sidelined with an injury in 2014 but he came back strongly and established himself among the top players in world cricket. Only 13 batsmen have scored centuries in test against all 9 test-playing nations and Kane Williamson is the latest to join the list. He achieved this in just 50 tests.

Interestingly Williamson made his ODI and test debut against the same opposition- India in 2010. Though he failed to open his account on his ODI debut for New Zealand, he scored a century on his test debut on 4 November 2010 and thus became only the eighth New Zealand player to hit a century on debut. Playing in his favored 3rd position which was once occupied by the great New Zealand player and former captain Damien Fleming, Williamson has featured in 52 Tests and 93 ODIs for New Zealand. He has amassed 4,393 runs in Test cricket and scored 14 centuries along with 3,666 runs and 7 centuries in ODI cricket. Additionally he has 22 test fifties and 25 ODI fifties to his name.

He has been an epitome of consistency in the rather erratic New Zealand batting order. While Williamson has the ability to last for a long time and play the role of an anchor in test cricket, he has been at his destructive best while playing in ODIs and T20s. He also has the third best strike among all the New Zealand batsmen.

Kane Williamson has been a leader throughout his life, be it getting selected as a head boy for his school or captaining the U-19 team in the world Cup and leading them to the semifinals in the U-19 World Cup in 2008. He has been hailed by his former coaches as “Someone who has a natural instinct to lead the team”. It was this along with his run-making abilities which impressed the New Zealand selectors and chose him as the captain of the side ahead of other senior cricketers after Brendon McCullum retried in 2016. He’s a run machine – the batting rock on which New Zealand cricket’s revival rests. At 26, Williamson still has a long way to go before he can be labeled as the best cricketer in the world or the best cricketer for New Zealand.  But if he goes on playing the same way as he is playing now then there is no-stopping for this youngster.

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