Cricket World Cup

New Zealand batting lynchpin looks to enter game mode ahead of the Cricket World Cup


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The New Zealand star, recovering from an injury, will look to use the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup warm-up fixtures to get into the groove for the global event.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has been out of cricketing action since March this year. Williamson had been sidelined with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. This was followed by a surgery in April.

However, the Black Caps batter made gradual progress and travelled with the side to England in a bid to keep working on his fitness. 

New Zealand will hope that Williamson, their regular captain, is ready to fire on all cylinders before the World Cup. He has 6554 ODI runs with 13 hundreds at an average of 47.83. This puts him fifth on the list of all-time run-getters for New Zealand in ODIs.

Speaking prior to New Zealand's departure to India for the World Cup, Willamson stated that he’d work through the warm-up fixtures to get as much out of them as possible.

It's working through those warm-up games to get as much out of it as I can, personally and as a team, without sort of bothering too much," Williamson said. "There is a strong desire to basically be involved in those as much as I can; we've got two of them before our first competition game. 

“And basically it's just wanting to progress [with] what I am doing now - the running, the fielding, and also time in the middle with the bat.”

Williamson touched upon the fact that he was still facing challenges while trying to get fit before New Zealand’s first encounter in the tournament.

“Not so much the sprinting; more the slowing actually. From sprinting to braking, and a little bit of change of direction. But it's all been part of the plan, introducing it towards the end of the recovery. 

“Having said that, there's still obviously time to go with the overall part of it, and keep trying to bank on good days because the rule's pretty much helpful in terms of just moving forward with it.”

Williamson added that he was gradually looking to enter game mode before the start of the tournament. 

“The load is going to keep increasing, so there is a little bit of an unknown. But it has felt pretty good really in the last few weeks.

“I’m hoping it continues to feel like that. But we're definitely looking to touch on more stuff, [and] introducing myself into the game mode, which is something which we haven't had the opportunity to do.”

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The Black Caps player believed that some alterations might come into his fielding positions during the World Cup. 

“We will definitely consider some of that. Where I field is usually at mid-off, which will probably remain the case. Probably slightly better suited to it than square of the wicket. Potentially some slip, but I won't be standing there if we don't require one.”

New Zealand will feature in two warm-up fixtures, against Pakistan on Friday, 29 September and against South Africa on Monday, 2 October. They will then feature in the World Cup opener against England on 5 October at Ahmedabad. 

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