Kane Williamson and Tim Southee: A Journey from U19 World Cup to 100 Test Matches

Kane Williamson & Tim Southee: U19 to 100 Test Matches!

Kane Williamson and Tim Southee: A Journey from U19 World Cup to 100 Test Matches

New Zealand’s top Test run-scorer, Kane Williamson, and their second-highest wicket-taker, Tim Southee, celebrated their 100th Test cap on Friday, 8 March, during the ICC World Test Championship series against Australia in Christchurch.

With their eyes set on their first Test victory against their trans-Tasman rivals since 2011, New Zealand is banking on the significant contributions of stalwarts Williamson and Southee.

Both Southee and Williamson have joined the elite club of Black Caps players who have reached the milestone of 100 Test matches, becoming the fifth and sixth players to do so.

Best of Kane Williamson so far at T20WC 2022

Best of Kane Williamson so far at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022

The duo, who were teammates at the ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup in 2008, have come a long way since their team’s semi-final loss to the eventual champions, India.

Southee had already made his senior international debut a few weeks before the U19 World Cup, in the T20I format, and made his Test debut within a year.

Williamson, however, had to wait until 2010 to make his Test debut. Since then, he has made rapid strides across formats to become one of New Zealand’s greatest-ever batters.

In a recent episode of The ICC Review, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting shared an anecdote about Kane Williamson.

“I remember Brendon [McCullum] telling me after a Test match in Hobart, ‘This kid is going to be something special. He’s going to be a hundred Test match player for New Zealand. He’s going to be one of the best batters in the world. Don’t be surprised if he goes down as New Zealand’s greatest-ever player.’

"He is the complete package" Hadlee on Southee

“He is the complete package” Hadlee on Southee

McCullum’s prophecy came true on Friday as Williamson walked out with Southee for his 100th Test match.

Williamson, with 8675 runs in Tests and an average of 55.25, leads Ross Taylor, the next best for New Zealand. He also holds the record for the most Test hundreds among active players with 32.

Southee, with 378 Test wickets, is just over 50 wickets away from surpassing Richard Hadlee’s record for the most Test wickets by a Kiwi bowler.

“It’s a huge feat to maintain form and fitness for over a decade to play 100 Test matches. Tim Southee has consistently maintained his standards at the top of his game,” praised opposition skipper Pat Cummins.

“Kane has always been fantastic to play against — he always seems like the prized wicket. Two greats of New Zealand cricket,” Cummins concluded.