T20 World Cup – Kane Williamson ‘fine after very, very slight hamstring twinge’, on course for T20 World Cup opener


“He’s getting through everything at the moment and he’s feeling good,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said

Kane Williamson, who had missed Sunrisers Hyderabad’s last league fixture against Mumbai Indians last week with injury, is “fine” now, two weeks out of New Zealand’s T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan in Sharjah.

Manish Pandey, who had stood in for Williamson in a dead rubber for Sunrisers, said that Williamson was nursing an elbow niggle, but according to New Zealand head coach Gary Stead, Williamson had hurt his hamstring.

“Kane is fine. He just had a very, very slight hamstring twinge, but he’s getting through everything at the moment and he’s feeling good,” Stead told NZC’s in-house media team at their training base in Dubai. “They [Sunrisers Hyderabad] were out of the competition as well, so I’m not sure if that was something he had to play in.”

Devon Conway, who had sustained a finger injury at the inaugural Hundred in August earlier this year, has also hit the nets. Conway is being seen as the second wicketkeeper in the squad behind the first-choice Tim Seifert, who is currently part of Kolkata Knight Riders’ squad in the IPL.

“Yeah, he’s going well,” Stead said of Conway’s progress at the nets. “He had a first real session yesterday with the gloves back on and kept very well in that and got some specialist coaching and stuff. Encouraged [by] the way he’s going.”

Shane Bond, James Neesham and Adam Milne have linked up with the New Zealand squad in Dubai after their IPL side Mumbai Indians missed the playoffs this time. Stead said that Bond’s role with the national team would involve working with the spin bowlers and helping bowling coach Shane Jurgensen.

“So, Bondie came in, in the last couple of days as well, when Mumbai were knocked out,” Stead said. “He’s working specifically with the spin bowlers in the tournament for us as well. So, he’s been great and it provides another set of hands for Shane [Jurgensen] when you look at a large number in squad are bowlers. He’s working with the spinners, in particular, and just around their strategies.”

New Zealand will play three warm-up games against Netherlands, Australia and England, before they run into Pakistan in the main tournament on October 26. Stead indicated that the guys who haven’t had enough game-time in the IPL will be given a chance to work their way back into rhythm. Left-arm spin-bowling allrounder Mitchell Santner, who is part of the Chennai Super Kings squad, is the only New Zealander who hasn’t played a single game this IPL. As for Kyle Jamieson, he doesn’t have much game-time under his belt, having not featured in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s last five games in the UAE leg.

“I think the guys that haven’t played – we will be looking to give them as much game-time as we can,” Stead said. “We’ve obviously got Netherlands on the 16th, Australia the 18th and England on the 20th. The other guys will come in and join us after the IPL stages, so we’ll just see who has been playing and who hasn’t in that time. Kyle will join up in the next couple of days and he will want a bit of match-time and I believe Mitchell Santner will want some match-time as well.”

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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