Ranking the top 5 greatest New Zealand batsmen ever
The Black Caps have always punched above their weight, so to speak, in international cricket. They won the 2000 ICC Champions Trophy, against all the odds and recently reached back-to-back ICC Cricket World Cup finals, in 2015 and in 2019. A combination of great fast bowling and some of the best New Zealand batsmen ever, stepping up in those tournaments, has led to such performances.
Kane Williamson was the player of the tournament at the 2019 Cricket World Cup final and made the list with ease.
But, who else features in the top 5?
5. Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming is number five on the list of best New Zealand batsmen of all-time. The left-hander captained his country and batted at the top of the order for most of his career. He was a very solid and reliable batsmen. He scored 9 test centuries and averaged over 40 with the bat.
Fleming was particularly good on the subcontinent, averaging 105, 50, 116 and 36 in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India respectively. In ODI cricket, Fleming scored over 300 runs at both the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 edition.
4. Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum was a superb batsman in his own right. He openly admitted that he didn’t trust his technique enough to survive in testing conditions and therefore took the attack to the bowlers in order to put them off their line and length. He did this very successfully and tore many bowling attacks apart during his career.
In ODI and T20I cricket, McCullum was a different breed of batsman. He led New Zealand to their first ever Cricket World Cup Final in 2015, with his scintillating stroke play at the top of the order galvanising the team. McCullum invented all sorts of different shots in T20I cricket and played the scoop over his own head very well. He averaged 39 in Tests and 30 in ODI cricket.
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3. Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor is probably one of the most underrated batsmen of all-time. In recent years, he has been overshadowed by Kane Williamson but he is still a superb batsman. For over a decade, he has produced quality performances. He averages 46 in Test match cricket and 48 in ODI cricket.
Taylor scored three half-centuries at the 2019 Cricket World Cup to help lead them to the final. His assault on Shoaib Akhtar at the 2011 Cricket World Cup was a sight to behold. In Test match cricket, Taylor has scored centuries in every country apart from Bangladesh, South Africa and the West Indies.
In T20I Cricket, Taylor has not been as prolific but is still a reliable batsman. He averages 28 at World T20’s, at a strike rate of 128.
2. Martin Crowe
Martin Crowe is number two on this list of best New Zealand batsmen of all-time. Wasim Akram called him the best bowler that he ever bowled at because he could play reverse swing at a time when most couldn’t. Elegant and graceful are two words that can be used to describe him.
He scored over 5000 runs, averaging 45 in Test cricket, with 17 centuries. In ODI cricket, Crowe scored 456 runs at a batting average of 114 at the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He top scored in the semi-final against Pakistan, in a losing cause. Crowe also scored a superb century in the opening game of the tournament against Australia to help New Zealand win by 37 runs.
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1. Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson is number one on the list of the best New Zealand batsmen of all-time. Despite only being 30 years of age, he has been simply brilliant in all three formats of the game. His signature shot is the deft touch just behind the stumps that allows him to easily rotate strike. He averages 54 in test match cricket and 48 in ODI cricket.
Williamson has 24 centuries in Test cricket. He has scored a test century in every country apart from South Africa. He averages over 50 in Bangladesh, New Zealand, UAE, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
In ODI cricket, Williamson is the ultimate big-game player. He had two good tournaments at the 2013 Champions Trophy and at the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He then stepped it up and dominated the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Williamson scored 244 runs at a batting average of 81 at the 2017 Champions Trophy and 578 runs at the 2019 Cricket World Cup at a batting average of 83. As captain, he led the Kiwis to their second World Cup final in a row. A dependable middle-order batsmen, who has the ability to stay calm under pressure and help his team punch well above their weight, so to speak.
In T20I Cricket, Kane Williamson has been excellent too. In 62 matches, he has scored 1788 runs at a batting average of 33, including a best of 95 against India at Hamilton in 2020. Plus, his exploits in the Indian Premier League has helped him cement a place ahead of Jonny Bairstow for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Incredibly, he averages nearly 40 in the IPL at a strike rate of 135.
We hope you enjoyed our article on the top 5 best New Zealand batsmen of all-time.
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