Sports, Cricket

Williamson ‘looking good’ for comeback against Bangladesh

Published : 11 Oct 2023 08:24 PM

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is "looking good" to make a comeback from injury in their game against Bangladesh in Chennai on Friday, head coach Gary Stead said in a press conference, while also confirming the availability of experienced fast bowler Tim Southee.

"He's been progressing very very well. He's had a great last five or six days, really went about the fielding aspect of things," Stead said. "That's the key thing for Kane at the moment. It's not about his injury so much now, it's his ability to run between the wickets and to field and to consistently do that over a 50-over game. We're delighted with where he's at.

"We've got two more trainings still to get through but at this stage all things are looking good for Kane to return in this game. But we still say that with an air of caution but we're really pleased with the way he has been coming on."

Williamson has been working his way back to fitness after suffering ACL tear in the IPL earlier in the year. While he played in New Zealand's warm-up games against Pakistan and South Africa, Williamson did not feature in their first two games of the campaigns which saw them beat England and Nethrelands comfortably. Stead did not reveal who would make way when Williamson comes back into the XI, with Rachin Ravindra racking up a century and a fifty in his two games at No. 3 this World Cup.

"If Kane is available, he will play. There is no doubt about that. He is one of the best players in the world. The discussions we are having at the moment is like how does that still fit?" Stead said. "For example, we played Jimmy Neesham in the first game but not the second. That was around the conditions we thought best suited the team at the time. That's the ongoing discussion we have around every single game and also looking at the opposition and who we feel gives us the right balance in each situation." Southee, meanwhile, had surgery on his fractured right thumb before the tournament but is now ready to be picked.

"Tim will be available for selection, he's been tracking well. Looks like the thumb has set very very well," Stead said. "He has been bowling at full intensity for the last couple of training sessions so he is certainly available for selection."