Last Update on: December 24th, 2022 at 06:48 pm
The Gujarat Titans (GT) head coach Ashish Nehra has said that they are privileged to acquire the services of the New Zealand white-ball captain Kane Williamson at his base price of INR 2 crore at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 mini-auction.
Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) released just 6 players, including 2 – Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Lockie Ferguson- traded to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), ahead of the mini-auction. They had 18 players in the squad, of which 5 were overseas.
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Gujarat Titans (GT) entered the mini-auction with a healthy purse of INR 19.25 crore to spend on a maximum of 7 players, including 3 overseas. They bought Kane Williamson, Odean Smith, Shivam Mavi, Joshua Little, KS Bharat, Mohit Sharma and Urvil Patel at the mini-auction.
Speaking at a media interaction in Kochi, Ashish Nehra showered praise on Williamson, saying that he is a proven performer and brings a lot to the table.
“Somebody like Williamson will bring in so much experience. He is a proven player, didn’t have a couple of good IPL seasons but IPL is so fast-paced that it takes very little time for thinking and perception to change. For us, if he would have gone for much more, we would have still gone for Kane Williamson.
“We believe in that player and wanted to have that mix of experience and youth. Kane brings a lot to the table for any team. We are privileged that we could have him, and on top of that at base price,” Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra said at a media interaction in Kochi as quoted by News18.
The Gujarat Titans head coach added that Kane Williamson will likely bat at No.3 in the playing XI in next year’s tournament.
“We are talking about somebody like Sai Sudarshan who is young and has time. And the presence of Kane Williamson will only help him. Even last year, it wasn’t that Sai Sudarshan played all games. Just imagine how much Sai would gain with the presence of Kane Williamson around him. Har player ka time aata hai… there are other young players but again there is no option but to wait for your chance,” said Nehra as quoted by News18.
If Kane Williamson would be there, he will bat at No.3 and Hardik will bat at No.4 – Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra was further asked whether Hardik Pandya will play the role of finisher, unlike last year, in the presence of Williamson in the team. He responded:
“Hardik Pandya last year also batted at No.4. I think only once he batted at No.3. If Kane Williamson would be there, he will bat at No.3 and Hardik will bat at No.4. But again these calls would be better closer to the season. And, it’s not that people who bat higher up the order can’t finish games. Even an opener can be your finisher if he bats right till the end.”
He further said that the acquisition of Kane Williamson at INR 2 crore helped them bring in Shivam Mavi (INR 6 crore) and Joshua Little (INR 4.4 crore) at the mini-auction.
“The price at which we got Kane allowed us to pick both (Mavi and Little) the seamers. It’s a short auction and when you talk about supply and demand, Shivam Mavi was right up there as top three bowlers. Another was Mukesh Kumar who too has gone for good money. Mavi is a good athlete and is a youngster and from where we are right now, we will give him a good opportunity and help him. And if does well, it will be good for Indian cricket also. We are looking forward to working with both Joshua Little and Shivam Mavi,” said Nehra.