New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson finished the year on a high on Thursday by clinching the top position in the ICC Men's Test Rankings, dethroning an out-of-form Steve Smith who had registered scores of 0 and 8 in the two innings at MCG.
Williamson had played a brilliant knock of 129 in the first Test against Pakistan, which the Kiwi side won by a hefty margin of 101 runs. Following his stellar batting show at the Bay Oval, Williamson gained 13 rating points to pip Smith in the list.
This year, Smith was sitting at the top for 313 days while his Indian counterpart, Virat Kohli had secured the No.1 spot for 51 days before Williamson climbed to the top. After displacing Smith and Kohli, Williamson said that he was trying to contribute for his side as much as he can.
"It's about trying to do as much as you can for the team. If you can contribute as much as you can and it can be reflected on the rankings, that's really cool," Williamson said in a video posted on ICC's official Twitter handle.
"Those two (Virat Kohli and Steve Smith) players are the best. For me, sneak up someone is very surprising and humbling. Those are the two players year and year out in all formats moving the game forward, very fortunate to play against these guys," he further said.
Williamson was also happy after New Zealand earned a hard-fought victory against the resilient Pakistan side. Eyeing a top-two finish, New Zealand are currently placed third with 360 absolute points and 0.667 percentage points (66.7%). They'll now take on Pakistan in the second Test at Hagley Oval, Christchurch from January 3.
"It was a great game to be involved in. We seem to have many tight finishes against Pakistan. The last three have gone to the last 25 minutes of the last day. Both teams fought incredibly hard. I think we had moments although the resistance put up by Pakistan on the last day was incredibly strong. It is really exciting to cross the line and hunt for an opportunity for the World Test Championship," said Williamson over the win.