Kane Williamson reacts to overtaking Steve Smith & Virat Kohli as world No.1
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson confessed he was surprised and humbled to have usurped Virat Kohli and Steve Smith as the world’s No.1 ranked Test batsman following his side’s epic win over Pakistan.
The 30-year-old, who last topped the rankings back in 2015, scored a superb first innings century to set up his side’s thrilling 101-run win over the tourists earlier this week.
With Smith making an uncharacteristically sluggish start to Australia’s current series against India, and Kohli back in his homeland to attend the birth of his first child, Williamson has taken advantage and retained his place at No.1.
‘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,’ said Williamson.
‘Those two (Virat Kohli and Steve Smith) players are the best. For me, sneak up someone is very surprising and humbling.
‘Those are the two players year and year out in all formats moving the game forward, very fortunate to play against these guys.’
Meanwhile, Williamson was full of praise for bowler Neil Wagner who bowled 49 overs in the victory over Pakistan, despite playing with two broken toes.
‘”People talk about the size of his heart in terms of what he does on the cricket field, but to have a couple of broken toes, and he was in a lot of pain – I want to be careful here because he’s probably going to listen to this (laughs) – but he was in a lot of pain.
‘He was going off and getting injections and numbing his foot. We tried to use him when the injection was taking effect. It was kind of unique for all of us.
‘His appetite and motivation to be out there and try and make a difference for the team is huge. I think we haven’t seen any bigger than the effort he put in across this Test match with a couple of broken toes.
‘He just kept running in, and obviously it had an impact on his ability to operate at 100% but he still came in and got the breakthrough like he does for us so often when he’s at full strength. A very, very special effort from Wags, one that the team appreciated. We needed him out there, and he delivered.’
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