Have you seen Winston Peters post-election as he dutifully takes his obligatory stance not too far from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?

You somehow get the feeling the Deputy Prime Minister, looking somewhat marginalised, is itching to say something at those awkward press conferences or Waitangi Day-type functions but instead, dutifully, projects a poker face with a hint of a grin in keeping with the demands of protocol.

As flippant as that may sound, I thought how could the Government use the NZ First frontman more productively?

"Why not encourage Peters to take up sign language for the benefit of the hearing impaired on television?" I thought.


Of course, that'll never happen - but imagine how his profile would rocket, not just in New Zealand but internationally as a selfless politician who puts the needs of others before his.

The chances are when Ardern goes on maternity leave Peters will have a better rub of the green, as it were.

All of which takes me to what I suspect is happening in New Zealand and international cricket, inversely in a counter-productive sort of way.

I'm referring to the ritual of coaches swooping on adroit cricketers to saddle them with the mantle of captaincy.

That includes making references to incumbent Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson and his counterparts, Joe Root (England), Virat Kohli (India) and Steve Smith (Australia).

Like it or not, there's a correlation between leadership and performance for the better or worse.

That is not to suggest that Williamson or Root are in any way inadequate as captains or, for that matter, Kohli and Smith are the bees' knees.

Yes, Williamson and the Black Caps are a fair way away from becoming the "world's best" that scribes around the country keep elevating them to anytime they hit a purple patch in their backyard.


Conversely neither should Smith, with that trademark flick of the fringe — nor Kohli, with that do as you're told, mate, or I'll have your playlunch — be smug in their perception that they are God's gift to cricket management on the park come game days.

I can visualise armchair critics pulling out a potpourri of mind-numbing statistical data to proclaim the superiority of someone or other.

Besides, Black Caps coach Mike Hesson isn't shy to reach out for his loyalty card to protect his favourites when the batting and bowling figures aren't so endearing after riding the wave of euphoria on what has been primarily a false economy (as we found out in the 2015 one-day World Cup here once the Kiwis left their shores to play Australia in the final).

My preoccupation is with why Williamson or Root have to wear the stripes at all or that the former has to bowl to project himself as a hybrid allrounder.

New Zealand, more than others, don't seem to require an autocratic type leadership.

You know, the Brendon McCullum variety where he made all the decisions because Ross Taylor came across as too civil in the slip cordon because the wicketkeeper had to be heard above all the din.

The Macca type of leadership demanded motivation to accomplish tasks in the blink of an eye in an authoritative manager where the opinions or preferences of the collective didn't really matter much. The T20 mercenary has just launched his gear to lend credence to where ambition sits when juxtaposed with leadership qualities such as empathy, motivation and vision.

Delegating responsibility is often considered a weakness. Isolating and forming cliques with talent in a team becomes the norm. Those qualities tend to become paramount when hostility creeps into the sandpit and discipline is required.

But those days of boys tanking up at some water hole after a humiliating defeat seems to lay dormant among the incumbent group of internationals. In fact, it's refreshingly considered so yesteryear.

Which brings me to Williamson, who appears to employ a form of leadership where he isn't shy to consult senior teammates, such as Taylor and Tim Southee (although Trent Boult maybe better), but doesn't feel the need to be too overbearing.

Sure, he makes that final decision under pressure but Williamson also seems to foster unity in a culture where it appears delegating responsibilities creates the belief that everyone takes ownership in making decisions for the welfare of the collective.

No doubt, he doesn't step aside so much that the team start asking questions on his effectiveness and to the extent that qualities, such as motivation and vision, start eroding.

My fear when Williamson was touted as captaincy material was the impact it was going to have on his batting prowess. That remains unchanged.

He looks weighed down with decisions when on the batting crease, just as Root did in the Ashes series this summer.

Surely Williamson should be absorbed in what his demands are at first drop rather than all the other strategic and statistical mumbo-jumbo that go into determining a result.

He is grappling with his T20 demons as of late, as the top five Black Caps batsmen displayed frailties. That he made the IPL muster is an indicator that he is rated as an adroit batsman in that format so giving him a pay rise as New Zealand captain isn't necessary.

Williamson's humble persona also is crucial in whetting the appetite of those who use it to desensitise the impact of reality checks, such as losses.

But don't forget on the flip side is a segment of followers which will argue McCullum's way is more effective.

It's simply myopic to ignore the impact captaincy is having on a batsman destined for greatness.

Maybe there's a place for Williamson to take up sign language in the Peters mould while an Ardern fronts the TV.