New Zealand team Captain Kane Williamson to miss World Cup Opener vs England ODI World Cup 2023 match on October 5 due to a knee injury he sustained during the IPL 2023. New Zealand cricket fans will have to wait a little longer to see their captain Kane Williamson in action at the ODI World Cup 2023.
Williamson, who led New Zealand to the final of the 2019 edition, has not played any competitive cricket since March 31, when he injured his knee while fielding for Gujarat Titans against Chennai Super Kings. He underwent surgery in April and has been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.
The New Zealand team management has decided to take a cautious approach with Williamson’s recovery and not rush him back for the tournament opener. Williamson will, however, play as a batter-only in the team’s warm-up match against Pakistan in Hyderabad on Friday and will aim to bat and field in the second warm-up fixture against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
“Right from the start, we’ve taken a long-term view on Kane’s return to play. His recovery is tracking well, and it’s now a matter of making sure he can cope with the rigours and intensity of international cricket,” head coach Gary Stead said.
“We’ll continue to take a day-by-day approach to Kane’s rehabilitation and certainly won’t be putting any pressure on him to return before he is ready,” he added.
In Williamson’s absence, wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham will lead the Black Caps against England in a repeat of the 2019 final at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Latham has captained New Zealand in 15 ODIs so far, winning nine and losing six.
New Zealand will hope that Williamson can recover in time for their second match against Bangladesh on October 10 in Mumbai. Williamson is one of the best batsmen in the world and has a stellar record in ODIs, scoring 6,173 runs at an average of 47.48 with 13 hundreds and 39 fifties.
He was also the player of the series in the 2019 World Cup, scoring 578 runs at an average of 82.57 with two centuries and four half-centuries. His calm and composed leadership was instrumental in taking New Zealand to their second consecutive final, where they lost to England on a boundary count after a tied match and a tied super over.
New Zealand will be aiming to go one step further this time and lift their maiden ODI World Cup trophy. They have a balanced and experienced squad, with the likes of Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner providing quality and depth.
However, they will also face stiff competition from other contenders like India, Australia, South Africa and Pakistan. The ODI World Cup 2023 is expected to be a thrilling and unpredictable tournament, with all ten teams playing each other once in a round-robin format before the top four teams qualify for the semi-finals.
The absence of Kane Williamson for the first match will be a big blow for New Zealand, but they will hope that he can return soon and lead them to glory. Kane Williamson to miss World Cup opener vs England is a headline that no New Zealand fan would want to read, but they will also trust their team to overcome this challenge and perform well.
India Team Squad for World Cup 2023: Team List, Schedule
World Cup 2023 Schedule: All Teams and Squad list, Stadium list