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NZ coach plays down doubts over Williamson's fitness

Source: PTI
October 13, 2021 16:10 IST
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Stead also revealed that former paceman Bond has been hired by his country's cricket board to "work specifically" with the national team's spinners ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Willliamson who had hurt his hamstring during the IPL has now joined his Kiwi teammates in Dubai ahead of the T20 World Cup 

IMAGE: Kane Willliamson who had hurt his hamstring during the IPL has now joined his Kiwi teammates in Dubai ahead of the T20 World Cup. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead is confident that captain Kane Williamson, who hurt his hamstring during the Indian Premier League 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 their final match of the Indian Premier League, 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 in Dubai 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 play their 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 week, while be clear around our training and what we're trying to achieve. We're certainly not doing it to try and cook people."

Stead also revealed that former paceman Bond has been hired by his country's cricket board to "work specifically" with the national team's spinners ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Bond, with the squad as the 'fourth coach', is assisting bowling coach Shane Jurgensen while also working with the team's spinners.

"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," the team's head coach Gary Stead told New Zealand Cricket.

"He's working with the spinners, in particular, and just around their strategies."

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