Cricket: Kane Williamson still has plenty to give to Blackcaps as test cricket remains Kiwi great's priority

Now standing tall as the Blackcaps' all-time greatest batter in the longest format, Kane Williamson wants to stay at the top for as long as he can.

Having given up the test captaincy at the end of 2022, Williamson is enjoying a prolific run in the Blackcaps' test side, and has been an integral part of New Zealand's renewed success in this recent period.

In his first knock after stepping down as test skipper, Williamson silenced his doubters with an unbeaten double-century away against Pakistan, before returning home for the New Zealand summer.

Neil Wagner congratulates Kane Williamson after Monday's victory against Sri Lanka.
Neil Wagner congratulates Kane Williamson after Monday's victory against Sri Lanka. Photo credit: Getty Images

And with two match-winning centuries in his last two innings, one against England and another against Sri Lanka, it would appear that Williamson's time in the sun is far from over.

Now 32, Williamson would be forgiven for thinking about how he wants to end his career.

Already holding the record for most test centuries for a New Zealander (now 27) achieved back in 2018, and most double centuries (five), Williamson's 132 against England at the Basin Reserve also saw him overtake Ross Taylor as the Blackcaps' leading test run scorer.

With few records left to break, Williamson clearly isn't playing for his stats, rather - as he's always done - to contribute to a winning cause.

But while some of his longtime teammates have decided to call time on their international careers, either in retirement or to become Twenty20 freelancers around the world, Williamson has no plans to finish as a Blackcap.

"We'll start with [Wellington], and then there's a bit of a break," Williamson said. "I've been enjoying it, and certainly love being part of the team.

"I hadn't thought too much about it. I'm not that old and I really enjoy the environment, the company in the team, and the challenges that come with the international game."

Despite the riches and glory that short form cricket brings with it, Williamson also says the game's purest format remains his priority.

Currently on 93 tests, Williamson is only seven away from becoming just the fifth player to reach a century of matches played.

Captain Tim Southee also sits on 93, conceivably setting the stage for the pair to reach the mark together, and will reach 94 against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve, starting on Friday.

And while Williamson still cherishes playing all three formats, test cricket will always be where his heart lies. 

"Test cricket, in my mind, is the pinnacle," he continued. "Growing up, what got me inspired about the game was connected with test cricket.

"I don't know if that's the same with young players coming through, but it certainly is the case with our team.

"Having said that, it's still enjoyable to be part of all the formats. It's refreshing, it can certainly help grow your game, it's nice to be challenged in that way.

"They're all great, as a player it's nice to be involved in them all. Some of the major events are exciting to be a part of, they do have a similar feel to building as a group and looking to work really hard together.

"They're all great, [but] test cricket's kind of got a romance. People my age or a little bit younger - certainly older - feel that."