Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, will lead Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. The decision comes in the wake of the recent ball-tampering controversy that led to bans for David Warner and Steven Smith from the 11th edition of the IPL. Warner's loss is a big one for the franchise as he has been their prized asset over the years. The southpaw has scored 2579 runs in 59 innings at a brilliant average of 52.63 and destructive strike rate of 147.70. He also led the team to IPL glory in 2016. Sunrisers had used their right to match card in this season's IPL to retain the Australian however his involvement in the tampering scandal led to his ouster.
Williamson, on the other hand, is a vital cog in the New Zealand line-up across the three formats. He made his IPL debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2015. His 131 on his Test debut against India remains one of his major highlights in his career.
In the 15 matches he has played in the IPL, Williamson amassed 411 runs in 15 matches averaging 31.61 with a strike rate 129.25. He had a decent 2017 IPL season where he scored 256 runs despite playing only seven matches at an impressive batting average of 42.66 with a strike rate of 151.47.
"I've accepted the role to stand in as captain for this season. It's an exciting opportunity with a talented group of players. I look forward to the challenges ahead," Williamson added while accepting the captaincy role.
He has been associated with SRH since 2015 but has failed to cement his place in the playing XI. But his credentials as an established captain of the New Zealand team prompted the SRH management to give him the captain's armband.
Williamson is comfortable against pace and spin and is capable of scoring at a brisk tempo. Williamson took over the captaincy at the World T20 in 2016 after the retirement of Brendon McCullum.
His achievements as a leader has been proven time and again for the Black Caps. His new assignment for SRH as a skipper will definitely be a challenge and experience in captaining his team in national colours will help him lead Hyderabad's charge in IPL.