Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2017, Hyderabad April 19, 2017

Willamson shows there is place for finesse in T20s

Kane Williamson didn't power through his innings, he stuck to what he knows best - using touch and timing - to achieve sensational results

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Hogg: Young batsmen can take lessons from Williamson

Star turn

When Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to strengthen their batting, they didn't have to test their bench. They had a quality batsman, technically equipped for any format and an international captain. Kane Williamson bats at No. 3 for New Zealand in the longer formats of the game, but opens in T20Is. David Warner was dismissed in the second over, which meant Williamson still had the best part of the Powerplay to utilise.

He looked in good touch, but still laboured to 13 off 16 balls. Williamson, despite knowing he had to look for runs, stuck to his strengths. He saw square leg and mid-off was up, so he hit the ball over them for back-to-back sixes.

As his innings progressed, he struggled to muscle the ball straight. So, he looked at options square of the pitch on both sides. He used the crease - shuffling across and backing away - to open up those areas. Through his 51-ball innings, his timing did not let him down until he miscued one to deep midwicket at the start of the 17th over. He finished with five sixes, the joint most for him in a T20.

The wow moment

Williamson spent five games on the sidelines, but required just four balls to discern the pace of the surface. Off the fifth, he just plain showed off. Chris Morris offered him a touch of width, but Williamson had shuffled across and opened up his stance. He was in no position to drag the ball into the leg side. So, he improvised, changing the angle with which the bat came down, meeting the ball late and slicing a cut. There was a packed off-side infield, and the only gap was behind point. He picked it, and never looked back.

How Kane Williamson dominated Delhi Daredevils © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

The numbers

  • Before this innings, Williamson scored at a strike rate of 68.57 in the Powerplay in the IPL, managing 24 runs off the 35 balls he faced. Against Daredevils, he scored 12 runs off 14 balls in the Powerplay, with a strike rate of 85.71. After the Powerplay, he hit 77 runs off 37 balls at a strike rate of 208.10.

  • He hit five sixes, his joint most in a T20 innings

What they said

"Once again, just those partnerships throughout were important and I think the icing on the cake were the couple of boundaries that took us past 180. With the likes of Yuvi, you try and up the tempo with these guys coming in. Once the platform was set, it was about getting the run rate up."
Kane Williamson on his mindset

"Kane Williamson showing finesse and class still has a role in t 20's. Absolute STAR."
R Ashwin, on Twitter

"Williamson #GOAT"
Scott Styris, on Twitter

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Patrick on April 20, 2017, 8:21 GMT

    Kane will be a Class apart even if he bats with a Cane.! He can time the ball with absolutely anything!!

  • dave on April 20, 2017, 4:33 GMT

    Kane is a master batsman and its just unbelievable that he sat on the bench for so many games. Moody and Warner have been clueless or is it just an example of Aussie arrogance? Kane proves that the best batsmen will find a way in any form of cricket and that T20 is not just about grunt and slog.

  • manoj on April 20, 2017, 3:53 GMT

    It's a pleasure watching Kane bat. It's like his bat and the ball are in a duet. Absolute class. One correction from the article - Quality batsman for any team, any format, any ground.

  • amindh6043107 on April 20, 2017, 3:11 GMT

    Well here we are . Kane showing how bonkers it is to select non regular aussie players who cant find a spot like henriques and cutting . No offense to them but despite the fact that they bowl kane W is the CAPTAIN of nz and a thorough class act.To bat that well without matchpractice oozes class

  • kalvin on April 20, 2017, 0:39 GMT

    A legend! Timing, stance and disposing bad balls for 6 and placing fours in the right area. He could have took his time and made the century. Anyway great hope to see you keep up the good work.

  • Jose on April 20, 2017, 0:10 GMT

    Great guy. Pure class. Like a gentle lover he uses power-play as caressing foreplay, before the real action comes later, & executes it as well as any consummate player.

    He could also be a real rock-solid in the middle, if by any chance, the fort starts crumbling around him, if such battles come up in the future.

    It will be a wise move to keep him in the fighting troop in the battle front, instead of keeping him in the base camp.

  • Ashfaque on April 20, 2017, 0:09 GMT

    Well done Kane. You can have power and improvisation but cannot beat class. One classy batsman in all formats of the game

  • mukesh on April 20, 2017, 0:06 GMT

    So different are roles of Indian players with foreign players. IMO if some Indian batsmen was on 89 at beginning of 17th over he would have definitely gone for that mighty 100. But here Kane Williamson was playing for his team and setting a target for team but not for himself. He could have knocked around and get to 100 but he didn't . I don't want to take any names but all our Indian players should learn from this selfless exceptional player. Williamson's thinking makes him ideal captain for NZ, the way he analyzed situation and wanted to score fast even when century was there for taking with likes of Yuvi waiting .

  • Brishni on April 19, 2017, 23:33 GMT

    Along with Kohli & Smith he is aming the Top 3 batsmen internationally. Can play T20 ODI & test innings without getting bogged or pressure.

    Joe Root should learn from him. It was his playing 5-6 dot balls in the last T20 vs India that led to brain fade and hos wicket. England lost 8 wickets in 19 balls.

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