Cricket: Kane Williamson ready to replicate Kohli, Root

Joe Root and Virat Kohli have each played an innings this World Cup that will go down among the greatest Twenty20 knocks of all time.

Now Kane Williamson hopes it's his turn.

The Black Caps captain has taken note of what his fellow batting superstars have done this tournament and is now eager to replicate their feats when it matters most, in a knock-out semi-final against England in Delhi.

Williamson, Australian captain Steve Smith and Root and Kohli are widely considered to be modern-day cricket's 'big four' batsmen.

Root's 83 from 44 balls helped England chase down a world-record 230 runs to beat South Africa in the key match of the pool stage, while Kohli's breathtaking 82 not out single-handedly eliminated Australia and prompted calls across India for him to assume Sachin Tendulkar's throne as the new king of India.

Williamson, as unassuming as they come when it comes to captaincy, possesses the eye of the tiger when it comes to run-scoring.

"I'd love to be able to do that. They've been playing brilliantly," Williamson said of both Root and Kohli.

"They're both outstanding cricketers and have been fantastic for a long period of time.

"When you watch those two bat and perform the way they've been performing you can learn a lot."

Listen to Kane Williamson ahead of the World T20 semifinal:

Williamson possesses an exceptional record across all three formats of the game and has ticked along nicely in this World Cup, with an important 24 in game one against Australia and a brisk 42 in New Zealand's last start match against Bangladesh.

Unlike his fellow batting luminaries, Williamson is an opener in T20 cricket and is the man the Black Caps will look to bat through the majority of their innings while Martin Guptill tees off at the other end.

Williamson's diligence and professional approach to the game sees him lead from the front, but the 25-year-old is too humble to admit that.

It's hard to imagine a smoother takeover from Brendon McCullum, but Williamson has refused to take credit - adamant that filling the leadership void has taken a combined effort from all the senior players in the dressing room.

Listen to Eoin Morgan ahead of the World T20 semifinal:

"As a group it's been nice to see after a transition without Brendon that the team continued to grow," he said.

"That's important.

"We've got some world class bowlers that haven't played a game (Trent Boult and Tim Southee) and have still been brilliant in the group. They understand that as best we can, we're picking the side for the surface and the opposition to give us the best chance of success.

"We've got all 15 players on board with that.

"I'm trying to do the best job I can with many other leaders in the group that assist in the overall leadership of the side. It's important to come up with sound game plans, but overall it's the players that are executing them well."

The Delhi wicket has spun all tournament, however Williamson claims New Zealand are yet to settle on their XI to face England.

There is talk there's more grass on this pitch than there has been before, but it would still seem unlikely at this stage that Williamson would deviate far from the plan of having super spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitch Santner spearheading the attack.

"Spinners have been brilliant on surfaces that have suited spin bowling," Williamson said.

"Even when we've played on perhaps the best track we've played on, which was Mohali, they still played a big part. We're not quite sure at this stage what to expect.

"We've seen a few games played here recently but we're still yet to have a good look at the surface and make a judgement on it."

- Sydney Daily Telegraph

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