New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is doubtful for the second and final Test in the series against England, starting Thursday (June 10) in Edgbaston, as he is being monitored for a longstanding niggle in his elbow.
The Kiwi head coach Gary Stead confirmed the news on Williamson, who has been facing trouble from this elbow issue since the T20I series versus Australia in March. Kane Williamson had to be rested for the last phase of New Zealand’s home summer, featuring the limited-overs series against Bangladesh.
And though he played the IPL 2021 for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the first Test against England at Lord’s relatively unscathed, the problem seems to have resurfaced ahead of the next game in Birmingham and the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final versus India.
With surgery out of the equation, for now, the team management is approaching the matter with caution, as they wouldn’t want to lose their best batsman and leader for the ultimate clash in Southampton.
Will Kane Williamson play the World Test Championship final?
“We’ve had some more treatment on that, and we want to make sure it’s the best thing for him, playing in this match versus taking a bit more time to be ready (for WTC final) and training the way he needs to train,” Stead was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz, with Kane Williamson’s participation for Edgbaston to be decided on Wednesday (June 9).
If Williamson is not available to captain the side, opening batsman Tom Latham will be New Zealand’s stand-in skipper. Latham has previously also filled in Kane Williamson’s void and did so quite successfully. One of Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, and Tom Blundell could be included for Williamson on the batting front.
Kane Williamson is at the top of the charts among New Zealand batsmen in the ongoing WTC, having made 817 runs at an average of 58.35 from his 14 innings, including three hundreds.
Williamson may have missed out with the bat in the first Test against England but is in very good form. Kane Williamson will be the most crucial wickets for the Indians, considering his compact technique and remarkable overall batting ability.
Keeping in mind the magnitude of the challenge, the occasion, and the fact that he is delaying surgery for his elbow issue, Kane Williamson is likely to push himself through for the India challenge. Whether that is by resting, rehabilitating for a week in Birmingham, or playing and preparing, remains to be seen.