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Kane Williamson, Tim Southee likely to be fit for Bangladesh match

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is likely to achieve full fitness, while pace bowler Tim Southee is available for selection for New Zealand’s third match in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023, confirmed head coach Gary Stead.

New Zealand’s head coach during a press conference provided the latest update on Kane Williamson and Tim Southee ahead of the Bangladesh match on October 13 in Chennai.

“He [Kane Williamson] is been progressing very very well. He’s had a great last five or six days, really went about the fielding aspect of things,” Stead said. “That’s the key thing for Kane at the moment. It’s not about his injury so much now, it’s his ability to run between the wickets and to field and to consistently do that over a 50-over game. We’re delighted with where he’s at,”

Gary Stead shared that the final decision regarding Kane Williamson’s availability will be taken after more training sessions before the match.

“We’ve got two more trainings still to get through but at this stage all things are looing good for Kane to return in this game. But we still say that with an air of caution but we’re really pleased with the way he has been coming on,” he added.

Kane Williamson tore the cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for Indian Premier League side Gujarat Titans in April, which looked to have scuppered his chances of making the showpiece tournament.

However, he made it to New Zealand’s squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 and participated in New Zealand’s warm-up games against Pakistan and South Africa, scoring 54 and 37 respectively.

He missed New Zealand’s thumping nine-wicket win over defending champions England and an astounding 99-run victory over the Netherlands during the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023.

In his absence, Rachin Ravindra was promoted to play at number 3 during the World Cup and he justified the decision by scoring a century and a fifty in two games.

Stead shed light on how New Zealand will fit Kane Williamson in the playing XI.

“If Kane is available, he will play. There is no doubt about that. He is one of the best players in the world. The discussions we are having at the moment is like how does that still fit?” said Stead.

Gary Stead also confirmed that Tim Southee has recovered after surgery on his fractured right thumb and is available for selection.

“Tim will be available for selection, he’s been tracking well. Looks like the thumb has set very very well,” Stead said. “He has been bowling at full intensity for the last couple of training sessions so he is certainly available for selection.”

READ: Abdullah, Rizwan aid Pakistan pull record World Cup run-chase against Sri Lanka

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