New Zealand coach plays down Williamson’s injury concerns

By PTI
Fingers crossed: Gary Stead is hopeful that Williamson would be fit for the Pakistan game despite the skipper nursing a hamstring twinge (Source: Reuters)

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead is confident that captain Kane Williamson, who hurt his hamstring during the IPL last week, will be fit in time for the team’s opening T20 World Cup fixture against Pakistan on October 26.

Williamson was left out of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s playing XI for its final match, but Stead played down concerns around the chances of the injury hurting Williamson’s participation in the marquee event.

“Kane’s fine,” Stead told New Zealand Cricket.

“He’s just had a very, very slight hamstring twinge, but he’s getting through everything at the moment, he’s feeling good.

“They (Sunrisers Hyderabad) were out of the competition as well, so I’m not sure if that was something he had to play in.” Williamson joined the New Zealand camp here from the IPL. Other members joining the national squad straight from the IPL included James Neesham and Adam Milne from Mumbai Indians alongside bowling coach Shane Bond.

With two weeks to go before New Zealand plays its first match of the tournament, Stead is using the lead-up to the match to get his squad accustomed to the heat of the United Arab Emirates.

“Today we’ve probably trained in the hottest part of the day. Two o’clock we start and it’s somewhere between 35 and 38 degrees probably. You can feel you burn pretty quick. We’ve just got to keep the fluids up.

“A little bit of shock therapy and getting get people back into the hot weather and working hard,” Stead said.

“Making sure we manage guys in the next wee-while and be clear around our training and what we’re trying to achieve. We’re certainly not doing it to try and cook people.”


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