McCullum: Kane could be the ‘greatest ever’
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum feels batsman Kane Williamson has the potential to be the best batsman the Black Caps have ever had, judging from his efforts against Sri Lanka in Wellington.
Williamson scored 62 and 242 in the second Test, which the Kiwis won by 193 runs, and led the side to a series whitewash. While McCullum was hesitant to put pressure on Williamson, he couldn't resist praising him.
McCullum said: "It's hard to put this on his shoulders while the guy is so young, but I firmly believe Kane could go down as New Zealand's greatest ever batter.
"He's a phenomenal talent and such a level-headed guy, who just thinks first and foremost about the team and how he can contribute.
"He's ticking off some amazing statistics along the way and he's doing it in quite a strong leadership position within our group as well.
"That speaks volumes for the guy at the age of 24, that he's held in that regard within the group. His batting in all three forms of the game is world class.
"He was batting in my backyard the other day against my boy. I said to my boy, 'In 10 years' time you're going to appreciate how good this experience was.'
"Kane's a phenomenal fellow and a gun player and we'll see a lot of him in the next few years."
The skipper added that Williamson was so successful because he had a calm, focused temperament: "Kane's passionate, but he's level with his emotions.
"At times, he can be a little bit mistaken for not being passionate or caring – he just gets in his zone. But you don't fight that hard unless you care about something.
"He does have blood in his veins. He'll be in that dressing room now, enjoying being around his teammates and have a big smile on his face.
"He'll be trying to shove off all the accolades to everyone else, but he's got to sit with these ones."
McCullum hoped that the comprehensive series win would continue to build the side's confidence, and that they's be able to do just as well away from home, and against the strongest of opposition.
He said: "In both batting and bowling, I think the confidence is starting to develop. We're starting to get guys getting big scores under pressure.
"Even if you are behind the game, you know that if one of those class players can get in, then we're going to be a big chance of being able to get out of trouble.
"Then we do have the bowlers who will get 20 wickets against most teams that we've come up against lately. Those two factors combine to build some confidence in the group."
George Scrimshaw holds final-over nerves to guide Derbyshire past Lancashire
Scrimshaw successfully defended the 10 runs in the final over.
Jonny Bairstow and England looking to ‘take the game forward’
Bairstow hit a run-a-ball hundred for the second Test in succession as England fought back spectacularly against New Zealand.
Jonny Bairstow century leads thrilling England fightback at Headingley
The Yorkshireman made 130 not out and put on 209 with debutant Jamie Overton to rescue his side from 55 for six against New Zealand.
England top order left in tatters as New Zealand gain upper hand at Headingley
The hosts were 93 for six in reply to New Zealand’s 329 all out.
Daryl Mitchell breaks record with another century against England
Mitchell broke Martin Donnelly’s New Zealand tally of 492 runs in a series in England, set back in 1949.
Superb James Vince ton leads Hampshire to shock win over Somerset
Sussex’s five-match losing streak came to an end with a 17-run win over Surrey.
Adil Rashid to miss England’s India white-ball series to make Mecca pilgrimage
Rashid has found it difficult to make the pilgrimage due to timings and commitments.
Jack Leach pleased with good luck but admits freak dismissal no collector’s item
New Zealand closed the opening day of the final Test against England on 225 for five after Henry Nicholls was dismissed in bizarre fashion.
Stuart Broad stars on day one for England but error of judgement proves costly
Broad kept a week of celebrations going strong by striking before a run had been added and followed with the key scalp of Kane Williamson.
Matthew Mott expects England whitewash to ‘light fire’ under captain Eoin Morgan
Mott made an ideal start in his new role with a 3-0 one-day clean sweep of the Netherlands.