Simon Doull urges New Zealand to drop Kane Williamson from T20I team
What's the story?
Former New Zealand fast bowler Simon Doull has called upon the Blackcaps to drop Kane Williamson from the T20I team. Not impressed by the 27-year old's prowess in the shortest format, he opined that the skipper should make way if he does not want to open the batting. The cricketer-turned-commentator also urged the team management to start thinking of roping in a new specialist coach to meet the vagaries of the 20-over format.
"I don't think we are getting the selections right. I've had some concerns for a while. If Kane Williamson doesn't open in T20, he shouldn't be playing. His record opening is very good - at three and four, it's not that great. But he shouldn't be in the T20 side, there's a lot who shouldn't be in the T20 side", Doull told Radio Sport Breakfast.
On coach Hesson's role in the T20I setup, the 48-year old asserted, "He's a great coach who has done an amazing job and has really grown into the job. But he gets very little time off, only a small amount of time with his family. Give him T20 completely off, get a new coach, new ideas, a new bunch of players."
Unlike his sparkling performances in Tests and ODIs, Williamson's record in T20Is does not stand up to scrutiny. In particular, his recent scratchy form in the shortest format of the game as well as sluggish strike-rate have attracted criticism from various quarters.
The heart of the matter
Williamson scored 0 and 9 in the last two T20Is of the 3-match series against Pakistan which New Zealand lost 1-2. During the opening match of the Trans-Tasman T20I tri-series, he laboured to a 21-ball 8 against Australia at Sydney. Eventually, the Kiwis succumbed to a 7-wicket defeat in that game.
After firing a salvo at Williamson's batting form in the 20-over format, Doull asked the think tank to revamp the T20I team by handing over the captaincy mantle to Martin Guptill. The erstwhile seamer insisted that the swashbuckling opener will 'relish the captaincy and responsibility'.
Doull also affirmed that the Blackcaps need to be smarter with selecting players in T20Is. Calling for specialist players suiting the demands of the fickle format to be infused into the team, he wanted dynamic batsmen with Colin de Grandhomme moving up the order.
New Zealand's next match in the Trans-Tasman T20I tri-series will be against England at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on the 13th.
Considering that the cricketer-turned-commentator is among the most well-respected voices in New Zealand cricket at the moment, Doull's comments carry plenty of weight. However, with Guptill forming a feared opening combination alongside Colin Munro, Williamson should bat at number three and continue captaining the team.