IPL 2021: Cool Williamson brings the calmness amidst the madness

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on April 21, 2021
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Kane Williamson goes out to bat against Punjab Kings on Wednesday. — BCCI/IPL

The New Zealand captain slots back into Sunrisers Hyderabad line-up after recovering from elbow injury

Sometimes, the mere presence of a player can change things. And Kane Williamson is one such player. Amidst all the crash-bang-wallop style of the T20 format, you need a batsman who plays orthodox cricket and most importantly, one who brings that calmness in the midst of the madness.

And the New Zealand captain is one such player. The Sunrisers Hyderabad were running out of answers after suffering three defeats, one of their worst starts to an IPL season. They were struggling with their combination and the losses didn’t help, with the franchise coming agonisingly close before making a hash of their previous three chases.

But on Wednesday night in Chennai, the Sunrisers Hyderabad finally turned the corner to notch their first win of the season. After the bowlers had done an outstanding job to restrict the Punjab Kings to 120, the batters aced the chase for a dominant nine-wicket victory.

The relief was evident on skipper David Warner after he had been left lost for words in the previous three games. The Australian and Englishman Jonny Bairstow had set things in motion with a 73-run opening partnership from 64 deliveries with the latter coming up with an unbeaten 63 from 56 deliveries, his seventh IPL fifty.

But what stood out perhaps was the cameo Williamson played. The 30-year-old may have made just 16 from 19 balls and it would have been easy to forget it in the scheme of things. But his presence in the middle brought a sense of calmness to the chase as he held it together.

Williamson had missed out on the first three games due to a long-standing injury to his left elbow that had put him out of the ODI series against Bangladesh.

With the Sunrisers Hyderabad physiotherapist finally giving the green signal, Williamson slotted into the line-up. And the Kiwi was delighted to get out on the park in Chepauk.

“It is a bit of a minor injury on my elbow. It's feeling pretty good. It is nice to be out there and get my first opportunity, but nice mostly to learn from our previous games as a team. A lot of teams are trying to find their best balance, and I think we will see through the tournament that it will vary,” said Williamson, who put on an unbroken 48 runs from 52 balls with Bairstow, for the second wicket, to see the chase through.

And Warner underlined the importance of having Williamson in the side. “The game plan of having him (Williamson) there is obviously to anchor the game and he rotates strike so well. Against spin, he gets forward and gets back, he just knows his role and game plan. It's handy having him in the middle,” said Warner.

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