Williamson achieves top-five ranking in all formats

Kane Williamson was rewarded for his consistency in the Bangladesh series with a jump of two places to fourth © AFP

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has broken into the top-five rankings for batsmen across formats, climbing to no. 4 on the T20I list after his team’s 3-0 sweep of Bangladesh. Williamson is ranked fourth in Tests and fifth in ODIs. Virat Kohli is the only other batsmen to occupy positions in the top-five rankings across formats.

With 145 runs in the three matches, Williamson was the highest scorer from either side. His 57-ball 60 on Sunday helped his side recover to 194 after a slow start, before the bowlers snuffed out Bangladesh’s fight during the chase to win by 27 runs. With the 3-0 win, the team retained their No. 1 ranking in the format.

“Really pleased with the series as a whole,” coach Mike Hesson said. “We were put under pressure at times during all three games with both bat and ball, and different players stood up and that’s critical for us as a developing side even though we are ranked number one in the world.

“It shows our consistency over the last 18 months to two years. We’ve been the most consistent side in Twenty20 cricket around the world, and in different conditions, having played in India and other places around the world. It’s a nice mantle to hold, although it doesn’t drive us so much. But it is nice to reflect on.”

Hesson was especially pleased with the manner in which a young team put its hand up. New Zealand handed out debut caps to four players during the series, and most players in the squad were in their 20s. “The nature of Twenty20 is that you need guys who can turn the game on its head. You need that with both bat and ball, and we’re fortunate enough that we’ve got some really talented players,” he said.

“Sure, they might be a little bit inexperienced, but they’ve certainly got the ability to change a game on their day, and that’s what T20 is about. Some of our match winners are quite young and raw, but there’s some really good signs there.”

Colin Munro, who slammed a 52-ball century in the second T20, leaped up 20 places to 19th position, while Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi achieved career-best rankings. New Zealand also succeeded in discovering young talent from the domestic circuit in the form of Lockie Ferguson, Ben Wheeler and Tom Bruce.

“It’s a nice sign for us moving forward that we can bring players in from domestic cricket in the Super Smash and they can do well, which is great,” Hesson said.

Among other big gainers, Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman broke into the top ten among T20I bowlers, displacing Shakib Al Hasan as Bangladesh’s highest-ranked bowler.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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