‘Open to whatever helps the team’: Kane Williamson on stepping down as New Zealand captain

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Kane Williamson is open to step down as New Zealand captain if it’s good for the team. However, he also said he has been enjoying the captaincy across formats.


“For me, it’s always been about what’s best for the team,” Williamson said. “If those discussions [about captaincy changes] are to eventuate and collectively there’s a thought that it would be best for the team, then my stance is whatever is right and fits the group.”

Williamson became New Zealand captain across formats in 2016 and has had to deal with scrutiny after his side lost the three-match Test series against Australia 3-0. His poor runs with the bat during the Australia tour was even linked to his workload.


Ahead of a full-fledged home series against India, Williamson responded to the captaincy concerns.

“I’m always open to whatever is going to help move the team in those directions,” he said. “Without a doubt, there are a number of challenges that come throughout that period that you’ve been in the job.

“I’ve been in it for some time now and you are forever dealing with those challenges and that’ll always be a bit different. It’s part and parcel of the job, but for me, the focus is very much trying to help the team to grow and move in the right direction. That’s been the focus from day one”


His leadership was openly criticized by former NZ skipper Brendon McCullum during the Australia series. Baz felt Williamson was being a “reluctant leader at times” and wasn’t enjoying his captaincy.

But for Williamson, captaincy is simply an extension of being part of a core leadership group.

“Even prior to captaincy I was fortunate to somehow be in the leadership role. I do feel fortunate to be leading such a great group of guys that share a similar passion, which is to keep moving this team forward,” Williamson said. “I’m not the only one that is trying to lead that.


“There are a number of other guys, senior players and some younger guys who also obviously share the passion. The leadership thing is a collective approach. It is enjoyable and you do learn so much about yourself and about the team.”

On Friday, Williamson will play in a T20I match for the first time since February 2019. The last time he participated in a T20I game was against India when the visitors toured the country in 2019.


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