Interview

Killing ‘em softly – Kane Williamson

I wish I could smack the ball like Chris Gayle, but I am glad I have my own ways: Williamson

Picture this. The most ruthless of formats, bowlers treated with disdain, the white leather taking a beating and batsmen absolutely smoking it to all parts of the ground. Amidst all this you have Kane Williamson bringing gentle romance into his batting. No wild slogs, no pounding of the cricket ball. Just plain cricketing shots from the textbook with a slight bit of innovation, but keeping intact the discipline.

It was that kind of an innings on Wednesday night by Williamson, who was playing his first game this season.There were gentle dabs, a soft smother, running hard between the wickets, getting his eye in and then teeing off kind of a pattern. The result, Williamson brought up his first half-century in his first game for the Sunrisers Hyderabad this year.

Elated on contributing to the team in a winning cause, Williamson spoke to iplt20.com about his chanceless knock, how he wished he could smack the ball like Chris Gayle but enjoyed his ease in game-play in the shortest format of the game.

Excerpts:

First game this season and straightaway a match-winning half century. Couldn’t have asked for a better start, could you?

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.

How difficult is it to perform right away when you get a go, especially after you have been on the bench for the first few games?

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.

You spoke of the mental shift. How did you get into your zone tonight? Take us though your innings and that partnership with Shikhar Dhawan

It is all about playing the situation to the best you can. 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.

You have your own playing style and not the one to go after the bowlers from ball number one. How do you work your way out in T20s?

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.

A lot of shuffling in the crease tonight, was it premeditated before you walked in to bat?

While you are playing, you are fortunate to get in, read the bowler and if you are able to put the bowlers under a bit of pressure, then that can help as well. They had a lot of fast bowlers and it was something that I had in mind to get runs off them. A few of them went into the gaps and went to the boundary, which is a positive thing. Glad to contribute to the team’s cause. Hopefully we can continue this good work in the games ahead.

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