"Kane needs to have a look at Virat and see if he can up his tempo" - Michael Vaughan addresses Kane Williamson's dwindling T20I strike rate

New Zealand v Papua New Guinea - ICC Men
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024

Former England captain Michael Vaughan pointed to Indian star Virat Kohli as someone New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson should look to for improving his diminishing T20I strike rate. The Williamson-led New Zealand outfit suffered a shocking exit from the 2024 T20 World Cup after failing to qualify for the Super Eight stage.

The stylish right-hander endured a dismal campaign, scoring 28 runs at an average of 14 and a strike rate of under 88 in four games. It was a continuation of Williamson's struggles in T20Is, where he has struck at a rate of under 119 in 30 innings since January 2021.

Talking to Cricbuzz about Williamson's worrying strike rate drop after New Zealand's final game of the tournament against Papua New Guinea, Vaughan said:

"I don't think he (Kane) is ever going to be a player that strikes at 200. But look at Virat Kohli in this year's IPL, he went from Virat in previous years to suddenly Virat Kohli the modern 2024 player by going for it and being expansive, particularly against the spin, found a couple of lap slog shots which was tremendous to see. And maybe Kane needs to have a look at Virat and see if he can up his tempo by around 15%."

He added:

"If he can get to 140-150 strike rate and be the glue for New Zealand or whatever franchise cricket team he plays for, he is an absolute in every team because you know he is going to be consistent and there or thereabouts scoring runs. He just needs to up that strike rate by just 15-20% and he'll be scoring consistent runs. I think we've still got a bit of watching Kane Williamson in T20 cricket to do."

Kohli increased his strike rate in IPL 2024 to over 154 from his overall career IPL strike rate of 131.97.

Williamson's scores of 1 and 9 in New Zealand's first two outings against Afghanistan and the West Indies, respectively, played a massive role in their crushing defeats.

"He is the kind of batter that needs to be playing" - Michael Vaughan

New Zealand v Papua New Guinea - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024
New Zealand v Papua New Guinea - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024

Michael Vaughan feels Kane Williamson needs to keep playing the shortest format to be in rhythm. The champion batter has played a total of three combined matches in the last two IPLs and only six games for New Zealand in T20Is since the start of 2023.

"I always look at Kane and feel he is the kind of batter that needs to be playing. He needs time in the middle and his rhythm comes and he starts to get that timing. Kane Williamson in the IPL where he is playing 2 or 3 games, don't think it does anything for his batting," said Vaughan.

Despite his recent shortcomings, the 33-year-old still boasts excellent T20I numbers, with an average of 33.44 and a strike rate of 123.08 in 93 matches.

Meanwhile, New Zealand won their final two group games of the 2024 T20 World Cup but still finished behind the West Indies and Afghanistan to bow out of the tournament.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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