New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was one of the high-profile names to be released on the last day of IPL retentions by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Williamson, who was retained as the first-choice ahead of last year’s mega auction, captained SRH in IPL 2022 but they finished eighth in the 10-team league. Williamson was associated with SRH for eight long years and also captained them in various stages. The stylish right-hander is the franchise’s third-highest run-scorer behind David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. Williamson scored 2101 runs in 76 matches at an average of 36.

Williamson will go into the mini-auction slated to take place next month. At a time when his stocks as a T20 cricketer is decreasing, it will be interesting to see who places their bet on the experienced campaigner. When asked about his prospects at the auction ahead of IPL 2023, Williamson gave a brilliant answer.

“In terms of the auction. You know I’ll have to wait and see. It’s certainly not up to me. People make decisions about their team and what they are after. That’s the nature of how it works,” Williamson told reporters on the eve of the first ODI against India in Auckland.

Like India’s famed three of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, Williamson has been criticised for falling behind the ever-increasing demands of hitting big from the word go. In the T20I series against India, he was New Zealand’s highest run-scorer but his strike rate was a major concern.

“I still love playing all three formats. I enjoy switching between the three. As a player, I’m always looking to keep improving. I still have that motivation. It was a bit frustrating, the other night. That’s the way it goes sometimes. I’m still looking at the areas where I can add value,” he said.

After both India and New Zealand were knocked out in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup, they will start the preparations for next year’s ODI World Cup in India. Williamson’s immediate target, however, is to win the series against India.

“After a large volume of T20 cricket and the World Cup, naturally the focus shifts to the next one and that is the (global) ODI tournament,” the 32-year-old said.

“(I’m) reluctant to call it preparation, it’s very much focusing on the series at hand and the cricket we want to play.”

“So focusing on what’s in front of us but no doubt there’s a lot more one-day cricket coming up.”

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