Williamson closes in on Kiwi greatness

Black Caps skipper races to 16 Test hundreds and is within touching distance of Crowe's record

Kane Williamson's 130 in the series opener against South Africa in Dunedin has seen the Black Caps skipper become the third youngest batsman to post 16 Test hundreds and brought him within one knock of a national record.

Williamson, who scored a century in his very first Test innings as a 20-year-old back in November 2010, made it sweet 16 against the Proteas last week, joining teammate Ross Taylor to be one short of the New Zealand record held by the late Martin Crowe.

Quick Single: NZ hit by injury woes after drawn first Test

And with a calf tear ruling Taylor out of the second Test in Wellington, beginning Thursday, Williamson is in the box seat to be the first to join the legendary Crowe atop the pile.

Rain washed out the final day of play in the first Test, with the match finishing in a draw, but Williamson's reputation as one of the world's best batsmen continues to grow.

The 26-year-old is already the youngest player to score a hundred against every other Test-playing nation and, some five months before his next birthday, now trails only Sachin Tendulkar (22) and Alastair Cook (19) for Test hundreds before turning 27.

Quick Single: Warner brings calm after turbulent Test

The right-hander's six-hour century against South Africa has positioned him between Australian legends Steve Waugh and Matthew Hayden in 36th spot on the all-time Test batting averages, and fourth among current batsmen.

Only Australia captain Steve Smith (sixth), Pakistan veteran Younis Khan (23rd) and new England skipper Joe Root (25th) are ahead of Williamson among his contemporaries by Test batting average (min 20 innings).

Interestingly, in New Zealand's 87-year Test history, Williamson (50.89) is the only player to be averaging in excess of 50 through more than 20 Test innings; Taylor (47.10), John Reid (46.28) and Crowe (45.36) are next best on the list.

To highlight his versatility, Williamson was on Friday picked up in the Caribbean Premier League draft, where he'll join Barbados Tridents as a marquee signing.  

Top 10 batting averages (still playing)

Image Id: 9E20DABD121041FEAE73E80117D96840 Image Caption: *Correct as at March 12, 2017