Sunrisers Hyderabad has done well in the fifteenth edition of the Indian Premier League as they are positioned at number four in the points table. But, Kane Williamson's form has been a cause of worry for the franchise and the SRH skipper will be well aware that he needs to perform with the bat.
The fifteenth edition of the Indian Premier League has seen some fantastic performances so far. The debutants Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans have taken the league by storm and have come out as strong contenders for the title. Many fans or experts did not expect such performances from them as in a competitive league like the IPL, teams need time to settle down and figure out the right balance for their squad which results in them losing a few games. Credit goes to their team management who have handled their squads well and know exactly how to use a player to the best of their ability.
If you are watching the Indian Premier League closely you will notice one similarity between the top two sides who lead the points table. The common thing in both teams is that their respective captains are leading from the front. Gujarat Titans have Hardik Pandya as skipper and he has been very impressive in his first time as captain of an IPL team. The fast-bowling all-rounder has taken responsibility as a batter and has walked out to bat in tough situations and done well. Hardik Pandya has 309 runs in the 9 games that he has played with an average of 44.14.
Lucknow Super Giants skipper KL Rahul is one of the most consistent performers in the IPL and is doing well once again as the skipper of his new franchise. Rahul like Pandya, is leading from the front and even after scoring two golden ducks is just behind Jos Buttler in the race for the orange cap. He has 451 runs from 10 games with two centuries this season already.
So the point that I am trying to make here is the fact that Kane Williamson, the captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad needs to emulate what Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul are doing if he wants to make sure that his side finishes strongly in the league stage. The New Zealand batter is a far better batter than what statistics of this season will show. Yes, he has struggled with the bat and probably captaining the side might be taking a toll on him but he isn't new to this role. He is one of the most successful captains in the current era of international cricket. He led New Zealand to the 2019 World Cup final and helped them lift World Test Championship last year. This proves how good of a captain Williamson is.
But, now in the IPL, he needs to focus on his batting if SRH wants to do well in the remaining games. Kane Williamson has only scored 195 runs from the 9 games that he has played so far. The Kiwi batter knows he needs to bat till the very end if he wants SRH to win the title. He doesn't need to go hammer and tongs against the opposition rather he needs to just play the kind of smart cricket and calculative innings that he has done so beautifully throughout his career.
SRH batters like Rahul Tripathi, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran have shown this season that they have the ability to set big totals and chase them down as well and know they need someone who can hang around long enough in the middle to maximise the runs in the middle overs. Kane needs to anchor the innings in the remaining league stage matches for his side.
They are very well positioned at this juncture of the tournament and all they need to do is keep winning games consistently as they have in the recent past. SRH has a very potent bowling attack that has the ability to demolish any batting line-up with Umran Malik being hailed as the find of the tournament this season.
It is important to remember that the pitches are getting older and might start getting slower and power hitters might not be as effective as they were at the beginning of the tournament. Williamson who relies on timing the ball might find these situations more tailor-made for him.
Another very important factor as we move towards the business end of the tournament will be scoreboard pressure. Captains of almost all the franchises have opted to bowl after winning the toss and chasing a target. But now, as high-pressure games approach teams will feel the heat while going after a big score. Even scores like 150-160 will start looking tough in the final league matches of the tournament.
This is where Kane Williamson thrives as he absorbs the pressure and goes on knocking the ball and takes the game away from the team that he is playing against. SRH need Kane Williamson the batter to stand up and deliver the knockout punch for them. He can be a nightmare for his opponents once he gets going because he has every shot in the book and bowlers will find it very difficult to bowl to him.
Sunrisers Hyderabad fans and the team management will be hoping that Kane Williamson can come good with the bat and help his team reach the playoffs on the back of some great performances from him. He has done it in the past and will be hoping to do it once again.
Kane Williamson is an able captain and a great batter who deserves to get his hands on the IPL trophy.