Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2016, Hyderabad May 1, 2016

'Williamson was going to play initially' - Warner

ESPNcricinfo staff

'We needed someone like Kane [Williamson] batting at No. 3 to try and steady the ship and he played that role to perfection today' - David Warner © BCCI

Kane Williamson played his first game of IPL 2016 on Saturday, but David Warner has said he would have been in the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI sooner had it not been for a hamstring injury.

"Kane's injuries hindered his start to this tournament; he was going to play initially but he hurt his hamstring and then Eoin Morgan came in and played fantastically," Warner told iplt20.com after his side's 15-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.

Sunrisers had been put in to bat after a lengthy rain delay. Shikhar Dhawan fell early, but Williamson and Warner regained control with a 124-run second wicket partnership that took the total to 194. Williamson made 50 off 38 balls and Warner racked up 92 off 50. It was the fifth half-century in seven matches for the Sunrisers captain, in the course of which he became the season's top-run getter.

"The Orange cap, the orange jersey, it does suit me doesn't it?" Warner quipped before giving a hint of his batting plans, specifically while batting first, which has led to 20 defeats in 27 matches this IPL season.

"It is just about keeping a clear mind. You don't go out there and think about setting a total or think about what you are going to achieve. It is about trying to get the team off to a good start and that is what I try and do every time."

"A couple of shots go straight to the fielders but that is cricket. You are going to have that happening in your game. It is exactly what happened with Virat Kohli [caught at point for 14] tonight; his shot went straight to the fielder. A meter left or right and it was four and he would have been off to a flier."

Warner said he was able to concentrate on playing his shots knowing Williamson would not give it away at the other end. "We needed someone like Kane batting at No. 3 to try and steady the ship and he played that role to perfection today," Warner said. "Kane's style of playing allows me to play the way I usually play my game. It takes a bit of pressure off me to have someone like that come in and play that role."

Williamson is no stranger to playing an anchor role. "I have been fortunate to bat with Brendon McCullum quite a bit which I suppose is a bit similar when there is a guy at the other end who is thrashing it to all parts of the ground."

Warner struck nine fours and five sixes, among them was a near-yorker from fast bowler Kane Richardson that he whipped over the square leg boundary. Warner's stillness at the crease and a whirl of the bat in the follow through was reminiscent of MS Dhoni's helicopter shot.

"I think it comes of many years of watching MS Dhoni," Warner said. "For me it was just about standing still and hitting the ball well. To be honest, I didn't really mean for the ball to go there and I wanted it to go a lot squarer."

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