New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said skipper Kane Williamson had a “slight hamstring twinge” in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s penultimate encounter but should be fine ahead of the Black Caps’ T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan in Sharjah. Williamson didn’t feature in SRH’s last league game of the Indian Premier League 2021 against Mumbai Indians and Manish Pandey was asked to fill in.
"Kane is fine. He just had a very, very slight hamstring twinge, but he's getting through everything at the moment and 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," Stead told NZC's in-house media team at their training base in Dubai.
Stead also confirmed that Devon Conway, who sustained a finger injury during the inaugural edition of the Hundred in August, too has resumed training. "Yeah, he's going well. He had a first real session yesterday with the gloves back on and kept very well in that and got some specialist coaching and stuff. Encouraged by the way he's going."
Shane Bond, James Neesham and Adam Milne have all joined the New Zealand set-up in Dubai after Mumbai failed to qualify for the playoffs. "So, Bondie came in, in the last couple of days as well, when Mumbai were knocked out. He's working specifically with the spin bowlers in the tournament for us as well. So, he's been great and it provides another set of hands for Shane Jurgensen when you look at a large number in the squad are bowlers. He's working with the spinners, in particular, and just around their strategies."
The Black Caps are scheduled to play three warm-up games against Netherlands, Australia and England before taking on Pakistan on October 26. Apart from Pakistan and two other qualifying teams, New Zealand also have India and Afghanistan in Group 2.
Stead said the likes of Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson who didn’t get much game-time in the second half of IPL will get enough time to get back into rhythm.
"I think the guys that haven't played - we will be looking to give them as much game-time as we can. We've obviously got Netherlands on the 16th, Australia the 18th and England on the 20th. The other guys will come in and join us after the IPL stages, so we'll just see who has been playing and who hasn't in that time. Kyle will join up in the next couple of days and he will want a bit of match-time and I believe Mitchell Santner will want some match-time as well."