Cricket: Blackcaps captain warns more runscoring heroics to come from Kane Williamson as Australia arrive

As he continues to score runs at will, Blackcaps batter Kane Williamson's recent form adds more weight to his place among the best the sport has ever seen.  

Williamson's unbeaten 133 on the final day against South Africa at Hamilton took him to 32 test centuries in 172 innings - beating the previous record of Australia's Steve Smith by two.  

His latest century was his fifth in the fourth innings of a test match and while Pakistan's Younis Khan also has five, no batter in the history of the game has more. From his 98 tests, Williamson, 33, has 8666 runs at an average of 55.90. 

Kane Williamson sweeps.
Kane Williamson sweeps. Photo credit: Getty Images

Since giving up the Blackcaps test captaincy at the end of 2022, Williamson has scored 844 runs at an average of 56.26. In that time, he has scored seven centuries - two of them doubles.  

February 2020 was the last time Williamson has been dismissed for less than 100, after passing a half-century.   

His Blackcaps teammates have never taken for granted his role in winning test matches and series, but that form, which led New Zealand to a first test series win over the Proteas, has only added to their admiration.   

"He gets into his batting bubble, I guess it's his happy place," said test captain Tim Southee. "We sort of joke that he doesn't like spending time with us - he'd rather spend it out in the middle.  

"Just his pure hunger for batting, his pure love for batting, not only in the middle, but the time he spends in the nets, he's always looking at ways to improve his game.  

"There's no fluke that he's as good as he is, he trains as hard as I've ever seen. He hits more balls than anyone I've ever seen.  

"He just gets into that zone, he's a guy you want in your team. That's, what, his seventh hundred in his last seven test matches or something ridiculous?  

"For over 10 years, he's been an incredible member of the side. He's one of our greats and there's still plenty more to come."  

As far as the Blackcaps are concerned, "more to come" will hopefully start against Australia later this month.

For the first time since 2016, Australia are on Kiwi shores for a two-test series at Wellington's Basin Reserve and Christchurch's Hagley Oval.  

New Zealand will need far more than just Williamson's runs if they are to end a 34-year wait for a series win over Australia.   

While coach Andrew McDonald acknowledges Williamson's golden run, Australia know they have the firepower to match anything the Blackcaps will bring.  

Kane Williamson against South Africa.
Kane Williamson against South Africa. Photo credit: Getty Images

"It's one of the challenges it presents," McDonald told Newshub. "He's in fine form, 130-odd not out to steer his team home is pretty familiar now.  

"[He's got] 32 test hundreds, so we're going to have a great challenge there, but in saying that, we've got some quality players on our side, quality batters and a formidable bowling attack that will look to exploit conditions over here."  

Of his modern contemporaries - Smith, Joe Root of England and India's Virat Kohli - none have more centuries than Williamson. The only factor limiting Williamson is that he plays fewer tests than the other three.

Since debuting in 2010, Williamson has played just 98 tests for the Blackcaps. Smith debuted the same year, but has 107 tests for 32 centuries, even with a one-year ban for his role in Australia's sandpaper scandal of 2018.  

Kohli debuted in 2011, but has played 113 tests and scored 29 centuries, while Root debuted in 2012 and has the most matches of all - currently in his 138th for 29 hundreds.

Join Newshub at 7pm Wednesday for live updates of the first Blackcaps v Australia T20