Captaincy Questions: Kane Williamson
Our Stories 01 Jan 21

Captaincy Questions: Kane Williamson

We caught up with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, to discuss the challenges around captaincy.

How would you describe yourself as a leader?
Tough question - I always feel it’s easier for other people to describe your leadership. However I think it’s important to understand the people in your group and get buy-in from everyone; being inclusive can help people move in a similar direction.

Do you enjoy being captain more than you enjoyed being only a player?
They are very much two different roles. Both roles have their challenges, that will continue to be there in different forms, but both are rewarding in a lot of ways too.

How does being captain affect the other aspects of your game? Are you able to switch off from the captaincy when batting or do the two go hand-in-hand?
Captaincy does require your time and energy, as you tend to make a number of team decisions. Understanding that you have a core role in the team as a player is where your focus needs to be when performing that role though.


How challenging do you find balancing the additional off-field commitments of being the captain versus when you were just a squad member?
To a large extent you have to accept that there's going to be more on your plate. Captaincy is a privilege but also a responsibility, so performing your duty to the best of your ability is your role in the team. Striking a balance is important so having time away to keep fresh can be helpful.


Who do you rely on out on the pitch to help make the big decisions, and why?
We have a number of leaders in our group that all feel they can come and speak their opinions which is really helpful. It's always beneficial having a number of leaders.

What has been your greatest moment as captain? 
Not just one moment, I think being a part of a progression is what is most satisfying. Seeing the team grow in the direction that we believe is important to us. 
And the hardest?
There are challenges all the time, but staying on task with what the team are trying to achieve, rather than getting caught in the small things is always important and rewarding.

Who was the captain you played under that you learned the most from, and how do they influence your style?
I was fortunate to play under Brendon McCullum for a number of years who did amazing things with the team. You're always influenced by your surroundings, so I do appreciate the things I could learn under Brendon.


Is there a captain from history you would have liked to have played under/learned from?
M S Dhoni is someone I've always admired in the way he operates.
Do you prefer to captain in a Test match, ODI or T20?
It’s enjoyable captaining in the different formats; it's nice to have the change in tactics and so on, so as to keep fresh. Much of the job is off the field, as you need to ensure everyone involved understands what we're collectively trying to achieve and what their roles are within the group.


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