Overtaking Kohli and Smith 'humbling': Kane Williamson

Kohli and Smith are the best, surprising and humbling to overtake them: Kane Williamson

Williamson says his focus is on helping NZ achieve success across all formats, personal milestones are a by-product

Kane Williamson. Credit: AFP.

Talismanic New Zealand captain Kane Williamson says it is "surprising and humbling" to leapfrog star Australia batsman Steve Smith and India skipper Virat Kohli to the top spot in the ICC Test rankings.

Williamson (890) gained 13 rating points for his player-of-the-match effort of 129 and 21 in New Zealand's 101-run win over Pakistan in the first Test to end the year at the top position on Thursday.

He dethroned Smith, who slipped to the third spot after managing scores of 0 and 8 in the two innings against India at the MCG. Kohli (879) is in second, 11 points behind Williamson and two more than Smith.

"Those two players (Virat Kohli and Steve Smith) are the best. For me, to sneak up ahead of someone (like them) is very surprising and humbling," said Williamson in a video posted on the ICC's twitter handle.

"Those are the two players year in and year out in all formats moving the game forward, very fortunate to play against these guys," said the 30-year-old right-handed batsman.

Williamson had briefly occupied the top spot towards the end of 2015 before Kohli and Smith soared ahead of him.

"It's about trying to do as much as you can for the team. If you can contribute as much as you can and it can be reflected on the rankings, that's really cool," he said.

Williamson said his focus was on helping New Zealand achieve success across all formats and personal milestones were just a by-product of that process.

New Zealand clinched a last-session thriller in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui after the visitors put up a valiant fight.

"It was a great game to be involved in. We seem to have many tight finishes against Pakistan. The last three have gone to the last 25 minutes of the last day. Both teams fought incredibly hard.

"I think we had moments although the resistance put up by Pakistan on the last day was incredibly strong. It is really exciting to cross the line and hunt for an opportunity for the World Test Championship," said Williamson.