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Stead plays down Williamson's injury concerns

Bengaluru, October 13: New Zealand coach Gary Stead has played down injury concerns about skipper Kane Williamson, saying the talismanic Kiwi batter will be fit in time for the Black Caps' International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan on October 26.

Williamson was left out of Sunrisers Hyderabad's playing XI for their final match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign against Mumbai Indians due to a hamstring injury which he sustained during the course of the tournament in the UAE.

But Stead allayed apprehensions around the chances of the injury hurting Williamson's participation in the marquee event.

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"Kane's fine," Stead was quoted as saying by 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 the UAE from IPL 2021.

Other members joining the national squad straight from IPL 2021 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 wee-while and be clear around our training and what we're trying to achieve. We're certainly not doing it to try and cook people," he added.

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SRH had a dismal IPL 2021 campaign as they brought up the rear with just three wins from 14 outings with Williamson replacing regular skipper David Warner midway through the tournament, a decision which did not go well with the flamboyant Australian cricketer.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 15:03 [IST]
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