INDIA TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND,
Kane Williamson sat out of the final two games of the T I series. © Getty
New Zealand suffered a blow ahead of the ODI series against India after star man and skipper Kane Williamson was ruled out of the opening two games of the series with a shoulder injury. In Williamson’s absence, wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham will lead New Zealand with Mark Chapman called up to the squad to replace the 91 – year-old.
Williamson first hurt his shoulder in the third T I against India in the just concluded series and did not feature in the final two games. Even though the x-rays revealed nothing serious, the team management has opted for a cautious approach with a Test series to follow as well. However, New Zealand are hopeful that the skipper will be back to lead the side in the final ODI on February 24 in Mount Maunganui.
Kane has had an X -ray scan which cleared him of anything serious, but it’s best for his recovery that he avoids aggravating the joint for the next few days, “Team physio Vijay Vallabh said. “He will continue his fitness training sessions throughout the week and will start batting again on Friday with the prospect of being available for game three next Tuesday.”
The injury provides Chapman an opportunity. to make a comeback into the national side with the 22 – year-old having last played an ODI almost two years ago. Chapman comes in on a fine run of form, having recently scored centuries against India A in the third unofficial ODI and in the first four-day game. Both those hundreds came in at No.6 which will provide New Zealand a reliable option down the order.
“It’s great to welcome Mark. back into the one-day unit off the back of consecutive centuries for New Zealand A against a strong India A side, “Selector Gavin Larsen said. “Mark’s a versatile player who can cover multiple batting positions and his fielding is a real upshot to have in the squad.”
The first ODI is scheduled to be played on February 5 in Hamilton and the Test series will commence from February 28. India whitewashed New Zealand 5-0 in the T 20 I leg of the tour.