New Zealand will play India in the final of the WTC. (Photo/ ICC)
New Zealand will play India in the final of the WTC. (Photo/ ICC)

Williamson has earned his stripes to be recognised as a great player: Hadlee

ANI | Updated: May 26, 2021 11:44 IST

Dubai [UAE], May 26 (ANI): New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee has said former skipper Martin Crowe's prediction in 2015 that current skipper Kane Williamson would become one of the country's best was spot on.

"Martin Crowe was a great player and thinker of the game. He was the best New Zealand batsman in my time -- a touch of class. Greatness is a word that is often misused or overused. No one becomes a great player in just a few years. Players need to perform and excel against the best opposition in different conditions all over the world over an extended period of time.

"There are many average players, some good players, some very good ones, but greatness is earned from your peers and astute judges of the game and is bestowed on only a few. Martin's assessment of Kane is absolutely right. Kane has earned his stripes to be recognised as a great player now and in all formats of the game. By the time he ends his career, he will have all the New Zealand batting records for most runs scored, most hundreds and a world-class batting average," he said in an ICC media release.

With 24 Test centuries and 7,115 runs, Williamson sits in the top bracket when it comes to New Zealand players' records in the longest format of the game. He trails teammate Taylor (at the top with 7,379 runs) by just 264 runs. Hadlee believes Williamson's understanding of his own game is what sets him apart.

"Kane has worked on his game and handles pressure extremely well -- his temperament is outstanding -- he knows his limitations and thrives on his strengths. He keeps his batting game simple, and he has a proven method that is effective. He collects his runs and then he can use his power game by playing proper and at times innovative cricket shots."

Hadlee has praised Williamson for constantly evolving as a player and captain. "Through one-day cricket he has expanded his shot selection capabilities -- there does not appear to be any obvious weaknesses in his game. His leadership has also grown -- his body language suggests he is calm and in control of what he is doing, and his personality appears to be unflappable and consistent. He is a student of the game and has a very good understanding of how he can get the best out of himself and his players.

"As for any captain, tactics and strategies employed will evolve from game to game, format to format and what the match situation demands. He is doing a fine job in leading New Zealand in that role." (ANI)