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Williamson among batting elite: SA coach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017 Angelo Risso

South Africa mentor Russell Domingo has rated Kane Williamson among the finest batsmen of the modern Test cricket era.

Williamson brought up a New Zealand record-equalling 17th Test century in his side's drawn Test decider against the Proteas, belting 176 from 285 deliveries at Seddon Park before fifth-day showers ended his side's series rescue mission.

The scalding first-innings century followed on from a similarly clinical 130 in the first Test in Dunedin, and a Kiwi summer in which the 26-year-old has embedded himself into the captaincy across all three cricketing formats.

He led the side into a successful home campaign in the five-day game, winning four Tests overall, while also reclaiming the ODI Chappell-Hadlee trophy.

The performances helped the Tauranga native earn the Sir Richard Hadlee medal as Kiwi player of the year for the second straight season on Thursday.

Domingo, who oversees plenty of world-class batsmen himself in Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock, rated Williamson among the best.

"We've played against some proper players - Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith, with Jacques Kallis, and he's up there, no doubt about it," Domingo said.

"To have 17 centuries is phenomenal but also the way he goes about his business - he's a quality guy, unassuming, comes across as really nice."

Williamson was reticent to discuss his own display after the Hamilton Test, deflecting all praise to his teammates for a job well done.

But coach Mike Hesson lauded his skipper for putting his own stamp on the side and producing consistent performances from match to match.

He has a career Test average of 49.9 but has racked up a Test season average of almost 60.

"I understand you might not get quotes out of him talking about himself but that's him, he doesn't do it for effect, he does it because that's what he cares about, he cares about the team," Hesson told reporters on Wednesday.

"If he's able to achieve milestones along the way, so be it.

"From Christmas on, he's been exceptional in all forms - reads the game well, gets to know the players and what makes them tick, a real effort to get the best out of everybody."

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