Being trans-Tasman neighbours, a little bit of camaraderie between David Warner and Kane Williamson is natural. The two of them, however, are different cricketers on the field. Warner is known for his aggression, and the Kiwi – also the skipper of New Zealand – is a silent assassin.
What united them is Sunrisers Hyderabad – the runner-up of Indian Premier League 2018. After the franchise lost the services of Warner due to his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, Williamson stepped up as skipper to deliver the goods.
Tom Moody, the head coach of SRH, revealed that Williamson – even as a player – had been instrumental in decision-making. “To lose a player like David’s quality is a huge setback. We all know what he is capable of. He has been a match-winner. Even when Kane was not the captain, Warner used to rely on him a lot. He would be a part of the discussions,” said Moody, on the sidelines of the CEAT Cricket Awards here on Monday.
“We always knew Kane as somebody capable, but what we saw is something beyond that. He dominated the game,” he added.
As captain, Warner guided SRH to its first IPL title in 2016. The side kept up the good run and made it to the play-offs in 2017.
Despite a change in leadership, Moody stuck to his plans and brought out the best. “A captain-coach relationship is important. Kane stands out for his nature and character. He is someone who is thorough. Every part of discussions with him was an absolute pleasure. It was a privilege to learn about his thought process,” he said.
Williamson, perhaps, took a leaf out of Warner’s mindset and added his expertise to gain results. Though SRH lost the final to Chennai Super Kings, the skipper remembered his old mate after the game. “It was a different experience coming into this job. It was an enjoyable campaign. David has done a fantastic job with the franchise too.”
Even before the start of the tournament, Williamson refused to entertain any slander. "He is not a bad person by any means. He made a mistake and he admitted."
Spirit of cricket, at times, spells out different definitions.
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