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World Cup 2023: New Zealand to be without Kane Williamson again; coach Stead provides update on injured trio

World Cup 2023: New Zealand to be without Kane Williamson again; coach Stead provides update on injured trio

Three of New Zealand's best players, including captain Kane Williamson, were not available for the first game of the 2023 World Cup against England. However, the hosts still lost badly. Now, Gary Stead, the coach of New Zealand, has given an important report before the second game.

Despite not fielding their first-choice squad, New Zealand handed the reigning champions England a crushing defeat in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

While pacer Lockie Ferguson missed the opening game due to a stiff back, New Zealand has been severely hampered by the absence of both red-ball captain Tim Southee and white-ball captain Kane Williamson, who are both recovering from injuries. 

In anticipation of New Zealand's second group stage match against the Netherlands in Hyderabad, head coach Gary Stead of the Black Caps has now provided an update. Stead stated that Ferguson is healthy and should play on Monday, October 9, but there is still uncertainty around Southee's availability.

"Lockie Ferguson got through training really well so providing he is scrubbed up okay this morning, he will be available for this next game," Stead stated. "Tim Southee also performed incredibly well during the training. His return to the bowling crease and his brief stint in fielding was greatly appreciated.

"He will just get a final x-ray done this morning and we will make a call after that but it is all looking good for selection from now on and into the rest of the tournament," the coach from New Zealand stated.

Stead, on the other side, has ruled out Williamson, stating that while he batted well in the nets, his fielding needs some improvement.

Kane has also been making excellent improvements. I believe that his fielding is still his strongest suit; he simply needs to raise his game and have a little more confidence in his physical attributes.

"However, he is making great progress, and we have a good feeling that he will participate in our third game. We will finalise the team after completing our remaining training, which is scheduled for today. As of right now, it appears that Kane will begin the tournament in the third game," he continued.

With three games remaining against the Netherlands, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, New Zealand already has two points under their belt and a significant rise in their net run rate. They will look to add six more points before playing the hosts, India.