From Tom Lowry in 1930 through to Brendon McCullum’s swansong in 2016, there have been 28 different men who have captained the BLACKCAPS in Test cricket.

Now, having already led the BLACKCAPS in ODIs and T20s, the announcement of Kane Williamson as the man to follow Brendon McCullum in the captain’s role wouldn’t have come as a surprise to many cricket fans. The question now is how will the man touted to break many New Zealand records handle the Test captaincy.

Here, we look at how others have responded to having the * next to their name.


Williamson will be among the youngest men to lead New Zealand in Test cricket, with Stephen Fleming heading the list having been just 23 years and 319 days old when he made his captaincy debut. That led to a long career leading the BLACKCAPS which paved the way for him to record 28 wins in charge. If New Zealand can continue improving their Test record as they have in recent seasons, and Kane can stay at the top, he’ll be a contender to take down Fleming as our most successful Test captain.

as Captain
as Captain
SP Fleming8028
GP Howarth3011
BB McCullum3111
DL Vettori326
JV Coney155
GT Dowling194
LRPL Taylor134

In general, captaincy seems to suit New Zealanders with ten of these 15 players improving on their average when leading the team. Only four players have a negative differential, with Lee Germon being the odd man out as he never played as anything other than captain. Kane Williamson will take over from Glenn Turner as the player with the highest average outside the Test captaincy. He will be hoping, however, that his average in the role doesn’t go the way of Turner whose differential is the worst of all the captains featured here.

Click on the headings to re-order the table.

CaptainBatting Average
as Captain
Batting Average
when not Captain
MD Crowe54.2942.7711.52
LRPL Taylor49.8544.525.33
JG Wright48.6335.8312.80
BB McCullum45.2835.639.65
BE Congdon41.0329.3911.64
SP Fleming40.5938.761.83
DL Vettori39.1225.8013.32
JR Reid34.3331.682.65
GM Turner34.2248.46-14.24
GT Dowling32.1630.211.95
GP Howarth30.4235.86-5.44
JV Coney30.1940.68-10.49
KR Rutherford27.3626.930.43
MG Burgess24.9432.86-7.92
LK Germon21.22--
KS Williamson-49.23-

When it comes to the best average as captain, Martin Crowe is a clear leader as the only man to average over 50. Given Williamson’s rapidly rising career average and his stats in recent seasons, the hope is that he can join Crowe in the 50+ club. If he can achieve that feat it will, more than likely, bring his career average above the mark too.

career average
Differential through
previous 12 months
Average across
previous 12 months
28 April 201649.233.2762.68
28 April 201545.969.5989.16
28 April 201436.373.8047.21