New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has on Thursday (October 14) provided the latest update on his hamstring injury ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, starting on October 17 in the UAE.
Williamson who led Sunrisers Hyderabad for the majority of the IPL 2021, suffered a hamstring injury ahead of the final league match for his franchise, which saw Manish Pandey captaining the Orange Army.
Apart from that, Williamson has been plagued with an elbow issue which forced him to miss the ODI series against Bangladesh, the start of the first leg of IPL 2021, and the Edgbaston Test against England followed by the Hundred.
Well, the T20 World Cup 2021 is barely two days away and there are serious concerns over Williamson’s fitness ahead of the Blackcaps’ global tournament opener on October 26 against Pakistan
However, the Kiwi skipper said his hamstring is fine and insisted that he will be fit to join the full training in a few days, but said his elbow might still need “a little bit of time” to get back to 100%.
Williamson told a conference call with media arranged by the ICC: “The hamstring is minor, it's progressing nicely, so not too many concerns and we've still got plenty of time. So, yeah, hopefully in the next sort of few days or so, I'm taking basically full part in the training. So, it's all good.”
He added, “The elbow - it has just been a bit of a slow-burner. Yeah, it has been quite frustrating for a long period of time. However, it has definitely improved a bit over the last two months I've had after the World Test Championship. On a rehab, it has definitely seemed to move forward, which is refreshing, but still a little bit of time to get back to a 100 [%], but it's definitely better.”
On New Zealand’s preparations for the T20 World Cup 2021, Williamson said: “With all his (Shane Bond) experience he has had from around the world and also particularly in this part of the world (UAE) with Mumbai (Indians in the IPL), he is very good at what he does. He will assist our bowling coach and help in any way that he can, so he will be there around the group anyway, he is a lot of fun.”
The skipper said of the Kiwis’ under-dogs tag at the ICC events, “I mean the tags are tags. Everybody has different ones, so it is fine…there are match-winners throughout and anyone can beat anyone on the day, so it is a pretty exciting prospect for the viewers, no doubt.”
Williamson has stressed that making adjustments quickly will be important in the T20 World Cup to be played from October 17 to November 14 in the UAE and Oman.
He signed off by saying, “It is a pretty short tournament, so you want to hit the ground running and try and get a bit of momentum early. In these sort of events, when you play different opposition, every sort of three days at a different venue, there are some adjustments to make quite quickly. It is great to be here to join up with the New Zealand team and lot of exciting about the group and getting involved.”
(With PTI /ESPNCricinfo Inputs)