Is Kane Williamson Too Modest in Downplaying his Number ...

Is Kane Williamson Too Modest in Downplaying his Number One Spot?

Published on: Jan 13, 2021

Following the recent men’s Test player rankings update, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson retained his position at the top of the tree. Although there were some changes, including Steve Smith Leapfrogging Virat Kohli, nobody could dislodge Williamson as the top Test batsman. However, in light of his ranking, the 30-year-old expressed his surprise at being ahead of both Smith and Kohli. So, is Williamson being too modest?

Retaining Top Spot

In the modern era of cricket, there are few better batsmen than Williamson. As well as officially being the best Test batsman, the Tauranga-born right-hander is also eighth in the One Day International rankings. According to the Firstpost, a video on the ICC Twitter page shows Williamson saying that Kohli and Smith “are the best”. While few can argue with both players' world-class abilities, the 30-year-old's consistency ensures that he is fully deserving of the top spot.

Interestingly, according to a comparison between both Kohli’s and Williamson’s home Test performances, the pair are very evenly matched. In 66 innings, the New Zealander recorded 3,788 runs, while Kohli registered 3,558 in six fewer outings. Although the Indian captain’s average – which sat at 68.4 - was 3.1 higher than Williamson, the Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman has a consistency percentage of 59.4, 7.7 per cent more than Kohli.

Although it’s possible to make a case that Williamson has the edge regarding home performances, Kohli has better fortune against both SEA countries and top-ranked sides. Perhaps this explains the 30-year-old's desire to heap praise on his fellow batsmen, particularly given their overseas form

Leading by Example Internationally

Currently, Williamson holds the record for the highest points total ever achieved by a New Zealander in the Test rankings. His current score of 919 surpasses his previous figure of 915, which he achieved in December 2018. On recent performances, Williamson has undoubtedly shown that he deserves to be at the top end of the list. In New Zealand’s recent Test series victory over Pakistan, the top-end batsman scored 129 and 238. Impressively, in the first innings of the second Test, the Tauranga-born player recorded a strike rate of 65.37 and hit 28 fours

Throughout his international career, and at the time of writing, Williamson has amassed 37 centuries across a combined 234 Test matches and ODIs. Regarding the fifty-over format, the 30-year-old’s existing strike rate is also undeniably spectacular. Currently, he boasts a strike rate of 81.75. Should he continue his fine limited-overs form, he could soon find himself climbing the ICC ODI rankings. For New Zealand, Williamson’s consistency will be pivotal to their efforts to win the 2023 World Cup. As of January 12th, they are 7/1 in cricket betting to win the sought-after ODI competition in two years.

Williamson's Modesty Shouldn't Undermine his Contributions

Depending on the statistics used, it’s possible to argue that either Kohli, Smith, or Williamson are the best Test batsman in world cricket. On the home form, the New Zealander has been imperious in recent times, but perhaps his modesty is a reflection of both Kohli and Smith’s overseas consistency.