Former spinner Daniel Vettori says Kane Williamson has proved that he is the greatest ODI player to have come out of New Zealand by scoring a match-winning hundred against South Africa in a tense World Cup game here.

Vettori is a New Zealand great who took 705 international wickets in his illustrious career besides scoring close to 7,000 runs across formats.

“Kane Williamson has to be New Zealand’s greatest ODI player of all time — an innings like that against South Africa tells you exactly why he is already there now and by the end of his career his record will far exceed anything we’ve had in the past or present, he really is that good,” Vettori wrote in his column for the ICC.

Williamson’s unbeaten 106 off 138 balls led New Zealand to another memorable win over South Africa in World Cup history.

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“Kane has done so much in such a short period, whether a captain or not, he has been exceptional and he is an absolute joy to watch. He plays all the shots, he knows how to manipulate the strike and he is always going to run hard.

“What differentiates him from a lot of batsmen in this day and age is his sole focus is winning the game and he tailors his batting towards that,” said.

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Williamson, 28, is among the world’s leading batsmen with more than 13,000 runs. New Zealand was in a precarious position at 80 for four on Wednesday but Williamson stood like a rock on a tricky surface to chase down the 242-run target.

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“The wicket was tricky, the South African bowling was very good and they took the pace off the ball well, it was a tough time to bat.

“But the way he understood that situation and got his team across the line was exceptional, it’s what makes him one of the greatest in the world now and by the end of his career he’ll be up there with some of the greats of all time,” added Vettori.