Kane Williamson: ‘I admire Virat, learn a lot from him’

Williamson, Kohli along with Joe Root and Steve Smith are the ‘Big Four’ among world cricket’s premier batsmen and the New Zealand captain said each player has different strengths.

Williamson said he doesn’t have any problems in balancing captaincy and batting.   -  AP

He is among the best in the world but New Zealand captain and batting mainstay Kane Williamson prefers to be modest and says he has “learnt watching Virat Kohli”, terming the Indian swashbuckler a “great player”.

“Virat’s a great player and his ability to dominate attacks through all three formats is very special. Certainly that I admire, I love watching him play and learn from a player like that,” the current World No. 3 in the ICC Test rankings told reporters during a media interaction, here on Tuesday.

Williamson, Kohli along with Joe Root and Steve Smith are the ‘Big Four’ among world cricket’s premier batsmen and the New Zealand captain said each player has different strengths.

“Smith and Root are both great players as well. All of us are different players, have different strengths. Trying to stick to his own gameplans, that’s the sort of beauty of this game. That everyone can do things differently and have a bit of success,” said the 26-year-old, who has a Test average of over 51 with 4,393 runs which includes 14 centuries.

Williamson said he doesn’t have any problems in balancing captaincy and batting.

“I am enjoying the challenge. We have a great bunch of guys and we are enjoying our cricket. We have to keep improving and that’s my focus as a captain. When I take that hat (captaincy) off, it’s my job as a batsman to play a role. It’s a slightly separate thing.”

He has also been a part of the IPL jamboree for a few years and predictably Williamson only has good things to say about the cash-rich league.

“IPL has added to international cricket. The part of the beauty of this game is that you can be on park and be extremely competitive and then off it, you know a lot of these guys. One of the many positives is that you meet a lot of international cricketers.

“IPL is fantastic as a number of our guys are playing in the IPL. I have been a part of IPL. No doubt those experiences help. The focus being on Test cricket at the moment, we can draw a little bit of help in terms of preparation.

“We also need to take into account that pitches in the last few years have been different from what we have played in the IPL. We have to take that into account,” he said.

Williamson did not want to term any particular Indian batsman a specific threat in the three-Test series starting September 22 in Kanpur.

“They have a lot of good players and we see them all as threats. They are good players at home in their conditions,” said the skipper.

Martin Guptill’s form in the longer format has been patchy but Williamson reckoned that he will come good.

“Martin is working very hard and he is a world-class cricketer. He has shown that a lot in white ball format. We are backing him to see him do that in red ball format.”