Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson (Image Credit: Twitter)

Gary Stead, New Zealand‘s head coach, has stated that skipper Kane Williamson may miss matches during the T20 World Cup because of his elbow injury, which kept him away from batting during the second warm-up match versus England on Wednesday.

The elbow issue has been a long-standing one for the Kiwi skipper – he missed the ODI series at home versus Bangladesh, a few games in IPL 2021 and the second Test against England in Birmingham and then The Hundred tournament.

While Gary Stead remains optimistic, saying that Williamson “should be right to play” for their first game versus Pakistan, he may be resting from some matches.

Kane Williamson and Gary Stead
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and head coach Gary Stead. Credits: Twitter

“Williamson’s absence from the batting crease against England was more precautionary than anything. We’re still pretty hopeful and confident that if we get the rest right, initially here now, and get that balance right then he should be right to play. There’s always that chance of him skipping matches,” Gary Stead was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

The coach also said that the management needs to be wary of not overworking their skipper.

“Kane is a prodigious hitter of and balls, he loves to prepare that way as well, and in some ways that’s probably the worst thing he can do, is over-hit at times. So it’s really getting that balance right, between feeling ready and feeling prepared to go, and making sure we don’t aggravate anything,” he added.

We will likely favour the three-seamer/two-spinner bowling attack: Gary Stead

New Zealand lost both their warm-up matches – to Australia and England – although both were close encounters. Gary Stead gave a peek into their bowling plans, stating that New Zealand will go in with a 3-pacer and 2-spinner combination; although, that they could include an extra spinner for their Sharjah matches.

Lockie Ferguson
Lockie Ferguson. Image-AP

“We will likely favour the three-seamer/two-spinner bowling attack that we have gone with often of late. We’ve had that balance for quite a while and I think it’s still the right balance for most of the conditions here as well.

“We’ll weigh up what we think around Sharjah in particular and if we think there needs to be anything different there for that first game against Pakistan, but that’s a little way down the track. We’ll see how guys scrub up tomorrow morning as well to make sure there’s no injury concerns,” the Kiwi head coach explained.

New Zealand’s first match is versus Pakistan on October 26 in Sharjah. They will then meet India, Afghanistan, and two other teams who will qualify from Round 1 in the Super 12 stage.

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