Is Kane Williamson getting close to Virat Kohli's level of greatness?
Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli have always been considered among the modern greats, excelling in every format and against every country. The two, along with England skipper Joe Root and former Australian captain Steve Smith, are considered among the top of the pile.
Cricket fans are always engaged in a debate over who is the best batsmen in the world, and that has led to the creation of the term “Fab 4”.
Over the past couple of years, Kohli and Williamson have left the other two behind and have taken their game to a different level. Both have been in tremendous form, and have been the torch-bearers for their respective sides.
Williamson, the captain of the New Zealand men’s cricket team, has been in great form of late. He recently scored a 200* against Bangladesh at Seddon Park in Hamilton; the skipper reached the double century mark in just 257 balls.
In the process, Williamosn even became the highest ever rated New Zealand player in Tests, surpassing the great Sir Richard Hadlee.
Williamson now has 915 points in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, 7 points behind Kohli. With two more Tests to go in the series, the Kiwi skipper certainly has the chance to go past Kohli, as the Indian captain has no matches lined up in the whites.
With the two batsmen so close in the rankings, the question has to be asked: is Kane Williamson as good as, or even a better batsman than, Virat Kohli?
Let us analyze and break down the statistics of both the players in all the formats.
One thing is crystal clear from the above stats. When it comes to the ODI format, Kohli is miles ahead of all his counterparts, and his record is even more staggering while chasing. Kohli averages 99 during run chases, while Williamson averages 44.86.
The Indian skipper is clearly the better finisher of the two. Also, his strike rate is markedly superior in comparison to Williamson’s. In terms of 100s, Kohli has a staggering 39 of them, behind only Sachin Tendulkar, while Williamson has a mere 11 to his name.
The T20 numbers of Kohli are also quite impressive. The Indian captain is undoubtedly winning the battle in colored clothing.
Coming over to Tests, the numbers of both the greats are very similar. Kohli has 6613 runs at an average of 53.76 while Williamson has 6065 runs at 53.20. However, the Kiwi captain averages slightly better away from home when compared to the Indian skipper.
Williamson averages close to 50 in away games while Kohli averages 46. Furthermore, the Kiwi averages a staggering 60 in the 4th innings, a hallmark of a great Test batsman. On the contrary, Kohli averages 36 and 49 in the 3rd and 4th innings respectively.
But to be fair to Kohli, he has scored runs all over the world, with centuries in all the major Test playing nations. His 50 to 100 conversion rate is very impressive (only behind the great Sir Donald Bradman), suggesting that the Indian skipper makes it big whenever he settles in. Williamson, meanwhile, is yet to succeed in South Africa, a country where he averages a mere 21.
Summarizing all the above aspects, one can conclude that Kohli and Williamson are on par as far as Tests are concerned, but as a whole the Indian ranks above the Kiwi skipper - Kohli's supremacy in limited overs is just too extreme.
The cricketing world is blessed to witness these two legends who are conventional yet aggressive in their approach. Both of them will undoubtedly go down as legends of the game, taking the beautiful game of cricket forward.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:53 IST