In the T20 or IPL format of cricket, big hitting comes in the form of walks down the track, switch-hits, paddle sweeps, dil-scoops and revese hits. Such is the thumping of the white leather, that over 200 sixes had been hit inside the first 20 matches of the on-going tournament. Amidst all this pummeling of the ball, there are the likes of Kane Williamson who go about their business with textbook shots, innovation and maintaining the discipline. Idea is very simple – keep hitting the ball with accuracy, middle it well and runs will follow without any danger. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
On Wednesday, the runs flowed. In fact, the runs oozed off the bat much to the joy of those in Hyderabad. He displayed complete finesse to score 89 runs from 51 balls with six fours and five sixes. This batting style is in contrast with many of the hitters in the game, like Chris Gayle, who have raw power and go after bowlers from the word go – not Williamson. “I wish I could smack a few like Chris Gayle (laughs), but unfortunately not to be. I think it is about adapting to the best of your abilities and playing around with your strong points. There are some incredible players that can whack it 120 meters. I do practice hard in the nets to hit the ball long, but probably it is not in my genetic make-up to do that. So, I try and find a different way, something similar to the knock I played tonight,” he told IPL website on Wednesday after steering SRH to a 15-run win against Delhi Daredevils.
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Playing just his first game of the season, the Kiwi batsman didn’t look phased and someone who needed time to get accustomed to conditions. “Yes, what you set out to do is to contribute to the team in whatever way possible. I am just fortunate to get a game tonight and to contribute to a winning cause for Sunrisers Hyderabad.”
“Sitting on the bench for the first few games is part and parcel, and the guys (who got a chance to play) were doing a fantastic job. Being on the sidelines you are always practicing to be as ready as you can for your first game. It has to do a lot with the mental shift from the other formats that we have been playing. That is the challenge;you have to be in tune with everything and be ready whenever need be.”
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Batting first against DD, SRH put up 191 on the board and the match was moved beyond Delhi’s reach with Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan (70) putting together 136 runs for the second wicket. “Shikhar Dhawan was superb today and the way he crafted in the middle overs and picked up the strike-rate towards the end was brilliant. Our partnership helped the team to put up a big score. We knew that there was a lot of firepower in the hut. You are trying to do the team justice by increasing the strike-rate. I think the way Shikhar played – having a higher strike-rate than me, allowed me to get in, take my time and then tee off. T20 is very fickle in its nature, so you are fortunate that some of your risks do come off,” said Williamson on the stand.
With the win, Sunrisers have climbed to second spot in the table with four wins in six matches and are on as many points as leaders Kolkata Knight Riders and third-placed Mumbai Indians.