Wil­liamson in doubt for ODI

The Timaru Herald - - SPORT - IAN ANDERSON

Black Caps cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson is in doubt for to­day’s one-day in­ter­na­tional against Eng­land in Mount Maun­ganui with a ham­string in­jury.

Mark Chap­man, who made his New Zealand Twenty20 de­but this sea­son, has been called into the squad as cover.

New Zealand coach Mike Hes­son said Wil­liamson had a ‘‘mild ham­string strain’’ and was ‘‘day to day’’.

‘‘If he proves he’s fit, he’ll def­i­nitely play,’’ Hes­son said.

Chap­man has been brought into the squad with Ge­orge Worker un­avail­able due to an in­jury suf­fered in last Satur­day’s Ford Tro­phy fi­nal.

Tim Southee will cap­tain NZ if Wil­liamson isn’t fit to play.

‘‘If he [Wil­liamson] proves his fit­ness, he’ll def­i­nitely play, other- wise Mark Chap­man will play,’’ Hes­son said at Bay Oval yes­ter­day ahead of the sec­ond day-night ODI in the five-game se­ries.

‘‘He’s had a few lit­tle nig­gles over the last few months. This is just a mild ham­string strain, but one he’s ob­vi­ously got to make sure he’s 100 per cent ready to go.

‘‘It’s a big blow – Kane’s ob­vi­ously a high-qual­ity player.

‘‘But we’ve got to have con­fi­dence in our squad as well. There’ll be some mi­nor ad­just­ments there but through­out the year, even when Kane hasn’t played, we’ve been able to put in a per­for­mance, so that won’t be an ex­cuse.

‘‘Your side’s got to be good enough to be able to cope with those things from time to time and I guess that is the ad­van­tage of Re­main­ing matches in the NZEng­land ODI se­ries:

To­day, 2nd ODI at Bay Oval, Tau­ranga, 2pm

Satur­day: 3rd ODI at West­pac Sta­dium, Welling­ton, 2pm

March 7: 4th ODI at Univer­sity Oval, Dunedin, 11am

March 10: 5th ODI at Ha­gley Oval, Christchurch, 11am us­ing some dif­fer­ent through­out the year.

‘‘Ge­orge Worker would have come in as a top three re­place­ment but un­for­tu­nately Ge­orge stood on a ball in the Ford Tro­phy fi­nal and has an is­sue with his an­kle,’’ Hes­son added.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing if he play­ers is ruled out but ... hope­fully he’ll be all right,’’ said NZ wick­et­keeper­bats­man Tom Latham, who played a big role in his side’s three-wicket win in the se­ries opener in Hamil­ton on Sun­day.

Latham struck the ball sweetly from the out­set in his 79 from 84 balls in a 178-run fourth-wicket part­ner­ship with Ross Tay­lor as the hosts re­cov­ered from a poor start.

It was just the left-han­der’s sec­ond half-cen­tury in 32 ODI in­nings in New Zealand – in con­trast to his fine form over­seas – and some­thing he can’t ex­plain.

‘‘I’d love to be able to put the fin­ger on it,’’ Latham said.

‘‘It’s one of those things – cricket’s a funny game, it ebbs and flows and I haven’t quite had the suc­cess I’ve had over­seas but hope- fully what hap­pened the other night is a step in the right di­rec­tion.

‘‘Some days you hit the ball and it goes straight to the field­ers and some days they go in the gap. Lucky for me, they went in the gap and I got a good start and tried to wres­tle back a lit­tle mo­men­tum.’’

Latham said he’s ad­just­ing to his mid­dle-or­der role and hav­ing the wick­et­keep­ing du­ties af­ter of­ten be­ing used as an ODI opener.

‘‘It’s been en­joy­able to date. I’m learn­ing from dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions – when to play ag­gres­sively and when to not.

‘‘In the mid­dle or­der, your game changes to much depend­ing on the match sit­u­a­tion. So it’s about try­ing to recog­nise that and when to adapt to play the right sort of way.’’

New Zealand cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson has a mild ham­string strain.

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