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IPL 2018: Gambhir, Rahane can learn a thing or two from Kane Williamson, says Dean Jones

The Kiwi skipper has guided the Sunrisers to the playoffs of the IPL.

Kane Williamson
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Kane Williamson in action. (Photo by IANS)

Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson rose to the occasion magnificently in this year’s IPL and has been quite spectacular in his show. His elegant batting has not only turned heads but has also fetched him 625 runs in 13 matches with a strike rate of 140.44. Moreover, he had to shoulder the responsibility of captaincy after David Warner was made unavailable for this season, due to the ban imposed on him by CA for the ball tampering incident.

But with the league matches almost drawing to an end, his team SRH sits at the top of the league table comfortably and has already qualified for the playoffs. However, the batting department has been a source of worry for them throughout. In spite of that, Williamson has shone through it and stood out brilliantly in setting high scores or chasing down challenging targets.

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Rahane and Gambhir can learn a thing or two, Dean Jones

Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones is thoroughly impressed by the batting prowess of the 27-year-old. He thinks that the absence of Warner helped Williamson to spread his wings, and the Kiwi has taken every opportunity handed to him to prove his mettle in the top-ranked T20 league in the world.

“I did expect Williamson to do well. Warner not playing here has helped him enormously,” Jones told PTI. “Given the opportunity you take it and he has picked it with both hands and reminded everyone in the world because it is the best T20 League in the world, how good he is.”

The confident way in which he went on in the tournament has naturally put much pressure on him, as he was one of the few consistent batsmen of the side. But he lived up to the expectations greatly.

“Because of that he has built confidence. And now Sunrisers have put a lot of pressure on him, because if he hadn’t made any runs, Sunrisers would have been in a lot of trouble. But he has been the glue,” said Jones.

He goes on to say that other classic players like Gautam Gambhir (DD) and Ajinkya Rahane (RR) can learn a thing or two from him. It is not because Williamson is a better or stronger player than the rest, but because he has played his classic style of cricket and incorporated it in the IPL format with smartness and freedom.

“You have other guys like Gambhir, Rahane, for example, also classical players who might be wise to give him a call, watch him and see how he has gone about getting his strike rates into 130s-140s. You tell me that Kane Williamson is stronger than Rahane and Gambhir, of course not. But the fact is that he has played with a bit more freedom and he gets into classic positions before he hits a ball,” explains the veteran ex-cricketer and presently a commentator.

“He has done very well and shown there is a spot in T20 for classical player,” he added with conviction.

Rohit Sharma gets in on the act

Apparently, Jones is not the only one who is struck by the performance of Williamson. Lauding the SRH captain after his fantastic knock of 81 from 42 balls against RCB in a losing cause, his Mumbai Indians counterpart took to Twitter to say, “T20 cricket isn’t just about power, it’s also about being smart and playing to your strengths and Williamson is doing exactly that.”

By all means, Williamson’s statistics are worthy of all that praise. His 625 runs this season is currently second on the list of orange cap contenders. He also has 8 fifties to his name, which is in close vicinity of Virat Kohl’s all-time highest record of 11 in one season. With at least three more matches to go for SRH, he might be breaking the record as well.

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