Sunrisers Hyderabad could not witness Kane Williamson’s batting in this season of IPL as he had to opt-out of the IPL due to his hamstring injury. With his absence in the IPL, doubts regarding his presence in the T20 world cup were doing rounds in the cricket fraternity. As it was felt that he might recover from his hamstring injury.
However, those concerns were buried deep under the ground by the announcement of Kane that he will soon be joining the training camp in the UAE to be held prior to the T20 world cup. He also stated that he will have fully recovered from his injury by the time New Zealand will play its first match. As a matter of fact, New Zealand will play its first match against Pakistan on 26 October in Sharjah.
“The hamstring is minor, it’s progressing nicely, so not too many concerns and we’ve still got plenty of time,” he said. “So, yeah, hopefully in the next few days or so, I’ll be taking basically full part in the training. So, it’s all good.”
The New Zealand captain was not only grappling with the hamstring injury but also he suffered from recurring elbow issues. “The elbow – it has just been a bit of a slow-burner. Yeah, it has been quite frustrating for a long period of time. However, it has definitely improved a bit over the last two months I’ve had after the World Test Championship. In rehab, it has definitely seemed to move forward, which is refreshing, but still a little bit of time to get back to a 100 (percent), but it’s definitely better.
“Just gripping and then extending. So, which you do a lot of obviously (while) batting and it has been frustrating certainly when it was at its worst. But the harder you grip and further you extend, the more it seems to be quite disruptive. Like I said there’s been a lot of improvement over the last three months, which is good. That has really been the focus and I’m at the stage where I’m largely about to get through with some comfort and it’s nice to be able to focus a bit more on the cricketing side of things rather than having constant negotiations with physios.”
When IPL 2021 was moved to the UAE, it allowed ample time for Williamson to assess the conditions but feels things could change once the T20 World cup gets going. “They’ve varied a lot actually. Even a lot compared to what we experienced last summer when we had the whole tournament here [the UAE] and in previous years when we’ve played here as well,” he pointed out. “Something to be aware of; something certainly to prepare for and try and make those adjustments as quickly as possible and get comfortable with what realistic expectations are and what competitive totals are because it has not unfolded in that traditional T20 style at times.
“But then we’ve had other days, in the IPL when we turned up to Abu Dhabi, the wicket looked very similar, but there was sort of an 80-run difference in what was perhaps a par total. It is really adjusting to what’s in front of you as quickly as possible and trusting in that judgment.”
Since New Zealand will begin their campaign in Sharjah before moving to Dubai to play two matches. Then, they will move on to play in Sharjah again before ending their campaign with the last match in Dubai. One of the concerns for them will be their last three afternoon matches. “Recovering will be a big part of that. The temperatures are getting a little bit better and being here nice and early – it allows the guys to acclimatize a little bit (to the conditions) and get a little bit more comfortable in these sorts of temperatures,” he said. “Those day-offs after the game, especially when it’s as dense as that, will be really important so that guys can get back up and be as fresh as possible going into the following game.”