Captain Kane - Kiwis' driving force

Kane Williamson has molded a winning combination ever since he took over the reins of New Zealand in 2016. AFP

Kane Williamson is to New Zealand what Virat Kohli is to India and Joe Root to England. One of the most accomplished batsmen of the current generation across formats, the New Zealand captain is an affable man but he is also a hard-nosed competitor on the field.

Cut from the old school of batting with textbook shotmaking, Williamson’s talent has seen him flourish in whites as well as coloured clothing. He takes his time at the start to construct his innings but is often the foundation on which other New Zealand batsmen rely on to drive the team forward.

Born into a family of sportspersons — father played age-group cricket, mother a fine basketball player and sisters proficient volleyball players — Williamson was tipped for excellence at the tender age of 14. From scoring a century on Test debut while just 20 to becoming the skipper and backbone of New Zealand side, Williamson is well on course to becoming one of Black Caps' best ever cricketers with his remarkable consistency.

Much of New Zealand’s hopes of landing a maiden World Cup will hinge on the performance of the 28-year-old Williamson. A brilliant player of pace and spin, Williamson is at home anywhere in the world, thanks to his wonderful technique which he has honed since childhood.

Williamson has been the full-time captain since 2016 and has overseen the progress of the team from the all-out aggression under Brendon McCullum to the calm yet effective cricket under his leadership quite effectively. There were barely any struggles during the succession period and the Kiwis have looked more solid and have played consistent cricket despite lack of star power. He’s got the confidence of seniors while the youngsters have flourished too.

There’s no doubt that Williamson is one of the most gifted and admired cricketers in the world today. He’s adored back home by fans and former players, many tipping him to end his career as the most successful Kiwi batsman ever. A good and successful World Cup outing will only enhance his star status.

 

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