Williamson willing to take more risks than he was in 2019: Sunil Gavaskar

New Delhi: Former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar expressed confidence in Kane Williamson’s comeback from injury and reckoned that the New Zealand captain is willing to take more risks to win the Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 than he was in 2019.

Before the commencement of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, Willaimson spent nearly seven months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury. He made 78 not out in his return to action in New Zealand’s comprehensive eight-wicket victory against Bangladesh in Chennai in the 2023 World Cup league stage match.

However, he missed the four matches after breaking his thumb in a win over Bangladesh and returned to action in the last two league matches.

Speaking to Star Sports, Gavaskar spoke on how Kane Williamson has come back from injury and how he will plan to play against India at the 2023 ODI World Cup semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

New Zealand have quite a formidable record against India in while-ball matches in ICC tournaments. India and New Zealand have met on 14 occasions with the Black Caps winning nine of them while India won four, with one no-result.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s come out from a big break and he’s scored runs. So, I don’t think it’s going to make much of a difference. He uses his feet really well to go down the pitch to smother the turn if needed; he then goes and uses the crease as well. So, he’s a very good player.

Gavaskar also highlighted Williamson’s adept footwork and strategic approach, predicting his ability to navigate challenges, including facing Kuldeep Yadav, with finesse.

“I don’t think he is going to be fussed about playing Kuldeep; he will know how to tackle him. If needed, you don’t want to hit him for boundaries; just work it away for six singles if that is required. Then, six runs an over is a good scoring rate by any standard, so he will look to do that. When the boundary ball comes along, he will hit the boundary ball, so we’ve seen his willingness to take more risks.

“We haven’t seen that side of Kane Williamson maybe in 2019, but here, we have seen him take the aerial route. He got out on a shot for a 100 the other day; he got out on 95, but that’s because he had taken the aerial route, and he will probably look to do that against Kuldeep Yadav as well,” he said.

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