Kane Williamson Poised for Comeback in Crucial World Cup Clash

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In a positive turn of events for New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson is on track to return from a thumb injury for the crucial World Cup match against South Africa. Williamson has been sidelined for more than two weeks due to a broken thumb sustained during their victory over Bangladesh.

The latest update on Williamson’s injury status comes from Blackcaps coach Gary Stead, who described the captain’s progress as “encouraging.” Kane Williamson has resumed hitting cricket balls in the nets, indicating his readiness to return to the playing XI for their upcoming match in Pune.

Stead talks about Williamson’s recovery

Stead mentioned, “It was just low-level intensity, but he will train tomorrow [Monday] and the next day, with a view to potentially being available for this game.” However, Stead also noted that Williamson’s availability will depend on how he responds in the next couple of days.

If Williamson is cleared to play, he is expected to replace opening batter Will Young in the starting lineup. New Zealand has faced consecutive defeats against India and Australia, which have added to their challenges in the tournament.

Furthermore, the Blackcaps have had to deal with injuries to key players, including Lockie Ferguson’s Achilles injury and Mark Chapman’s calf issue. Ferguson is set to undergo a scan to determine the extent of his injury, while Chapman’s status for the next game remains uncertain.

Stead is more hopeful about Chapman’s return, stating, “We’re unsure at this stage whether he will play in the next game or be available, but he’s progressed well and he’s not far away from being selectable again.”

As New Zealand enters the latter stages of the World Cup group stage, they face South Africa, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Securing victories in these matches is crucial for their chances of advancing to the semi-finals, making Williamson’s potential return a significant boost for the team.

In Ferguson’s absence, veteran seam bowler Tim Southee is likely to make a return to the starting XI, while Jimmy Neesham is expected to fill in for Chapman, following his impressive performance against Australia.

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