Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson will be returning to New Zealand for the impending birth of his second child. The franchise announced this on Wednesday, a day after Williamson led SRH to a 3-run win over Mumbai Indians, breaking their five-match losing streak and keeping their playoffs hopes alive.
“Our skipper Kane Williamson is flying back to New Zealand, to usher in the latest addition to his family,” the franchise said on their Twitter post announcing this news.
As a consequence of Williamson exiting the IPL bubble, he will be required to undergo a three-day quarantine when he arrives back. This means that he is all but certain to miss SRH’s last league match, on May 22 against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium.
In Williamson’s absence, SRH have two solid captaincy options: senior pacer Bhunveshwar Kumar, who has led SRH before, and West Indies’ newly-appointed limited-overs skipper Nicholas Pooran.
In the eleven, Williamson could be replaced by his compatriot Glenn Phillips who is known for his hard-hitting and is an excellent fielder. Phillips smacked the most number of sixes last year in T20 cricket – 97 sixes in 57 innings in 2021.
Willamson has struggled for form with the bat this season. The Kiwi has managed 216 runs in 13 innings – at a poor average of 19 and an ever dismal strike rate of 93; his strike rate is the worst among batters with a minimum of 100 runs this season.
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Against Mumbai Indians, Williamson finally pushed himself down the batting order and with the addition of the aggressive Priyam Garg at the top, the batting clicked once again for SRH.
Rahul Tripathi was the Player of the Match for his 76-run blistering knock off 44 balls, supported around by Garg’s 42 off 26 and Pooran’s 38 off 22. SRH were given a late scare by Tim David, who walloped 46 off just 18, but the pacers kept their calm and delivered a close win.
SRH now have 12 points in 13 games – same as Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders – but have a poor net run rate of -0.230 which could go against them in case of point-tied situation for the last playoff spot.