Gujarat Titans have been dealt with a huge blow as New Zealand batter Kane Williamson has been ruled out of IPL 2023. He was part of their playing XI in the season opener against CSK. But Williamson injured his knee while fielding and didn't come out to bat either.
The franchise has confirmed that he will take no part in the IPL this year and will be looking for reinforcements soon enough. The Kiwi cricketer was tipped to solve their issues at number three but now the team will have to look for an overseas player who can bat in the top order.
Here are 5 players who can replace Kane Williamson in GT squad for IPL 2023:
1. Daryl Mitchell
Daryl Mitchell has been in great form in the shortest format for New Zealand for a long time now. He has an experience of playing in the top-order and middle-order. Mitchell was the star for New Zealand opening the innings in the T20 World Cup 2021 where they made it to the final.
Moreover, he has now been bat at number four in T20Is and in the first T20I against Sri Lanka on Sunday (April 2) played a match-winning knock of 66 runs off 44 balls while chasing 197 runs. His bowling will definitely be a bonus for the Titans if Mitchell is picked as Williamson's replacement.
2. Travis Head
Travis Head was recently in India to play Test and ODI series against home team. In the ODI series, the left-hander smacked runs at a strike-rate of 125.35. Head is certainly a viable option for the Titans given that he can bat at three and take the attack to the opposition.
The cricketer last played an IPL game back in 2017 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and didn't have a great stint. However, he is much more experienced now and can make an instant impact for the defending champions.
3. Rassie van der Dussen
Rassie van der Dussen is a kind of player who can anchor the innings. He is technically strong and has the ability to play a long innings if required. With David Miller returning to the playing XI in their next game, GT can sign Van der Dussen as a back up player and use him accordingly.
The Proteas cricketer has played 166 matches in the format already and strikes at 128.92 that makes him an apt replacement for Williamson.
4. Reeza Hendricks
Reeza Hendricks' stocks have increased multifold in recent times. He was one of the best batters for South Africa in the recently concluded T20I series against West Indies. He was the top run-scorer of the series smashing 172 runs in three outings at a mind-boggling strike-rate of 204.76.
Moreover, his exceptional knock of 68 runs off 28 balls in the 259-run chase had paved the way to victory for South Africa. He can open or bat at three for GT if picked as Williamson's replacement.
5. Brandon King
Brandon King not featuring in IPL is a massive surprise given the kind of knocks he has played for West Indies in the format. King has a lot of experience playing in T20 leagues and has featured in 103 matches in the format striking at more than 130.
He can mould himself according to the situation and seems to be a like-for-like replacement for Williamson. It will be interesting to see if he gets an IPL contract from Gujarat Titans this season.