Key Absences for New Zealand
New Zealand’s cricket team is set to face the World Cup opener without the assistance of their regular captain, Kane Williamson, and fast bowler, Tim Southee. Meanwhile, England’s star all-rounder, Ben Stokes, is also uncertain for the match.
Tom Latham Steps Up as Stand-in Captain
Tom Latham, New Zealand’s stand-in captain, confirmed the probable team line-up for the match against the current champions, England, in Ahmedabad. He acknowledged the team would be stronger with Williamson but praised his efforts to be present at the World Cup despite his condition.
Williamson’s Recovery Progress
Latham expressed optimism about Williamson’s recovery, noting his participation in the two World Cup warm-up matches as a positive sign. He mentioned that Williamson’s recovery is a day-by-day process, but his recent performance in batting and fielding indicates good progress.
Southee’s Road to Recovery
Regarding Southee, Latham mentioned that he is still recovering from his thumb injury sustained during a match against England last month. He is currently unavailable for selection, but his recovery is progressing well, and the team hopes to have him back on the field soon.
England’s team is also dealing with its share of challenges. Captain Jos Buttler revealed that Stokes is struggling with a hip issue, making his participation in the match against New Zealand uncertain. He stated that the team is hoping for a clean bill of health and that Stokes is working hard with the physiotherapists.
Buttler indicated that the team would adopt a cautious approach in the early stages of the tournament, saving riskier moves for later. He emphasized that the team would not risk a player’s health at the start of the tournament, but might consider it towards the end.
World Cup Opener
The Cricket World Cup opener between England and New Zealand is set to take place on 5 October in Ahmedabad. This match is a highly anticipated rematch of the thrilling final from the previous tournament in 2019.