HYDERABAD: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will miss Monday’s World Cup clash against the Netherlands but is expected to return to the team later in the week, said coach Gary Stead on Sunday.
Williamson is still recovering after six months out with a knee injury although he did feature in the World Cup warm-up series last week.
He sat out New Zealand’s nine-wicket rout of champions England in the tournament opener on Thursday and will watch from the sidelines again in Hyderabad on Monday.
However, Stead said Williamson is expected to play in the third game of the tournament against Bangladesh in Chennai on Friday.
“He is progressing really well but his fielding needs to be higher and needs trust in his body,” said Stead.
“We’re confident he will be ready for the third game to start his tournament.”
Williamson is the current squad’s top scorer in ODIs with more than 6,500 runs and 13 centuries.
Stead said veteran fast bowler Tim Southee, who also missed the victory over England, is available for selection after recovering from a dislocated thumb.
Meanwhile, New Zealand all-rounder Glenn Phillips Sunday stressed that the Black Caps must keep their feet on the ground after the convincing win over England.
Runners-up in the last two World Cups, New Zealand upstaged England in Ahmedabad, riding on brilliant centuries from Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra.
“We enjoyed the first win but obviously with the tournament having such a quick turnaround, we try not get too high when we win and not get too low when we lose,” said Phillips.
Phillips said New Zealand will not take the Netherlands lightly despite the Dutch being the only second-tier Associate team at the 10-nation event.
“We approach every game the same way every time, every team is strong in their own right, especially on any given day,” said the all-rounder.
“The Netherlands have a lot of strong players, and we’re going to have to still put our best foot forward, as I’m sure they will.”
Phillips praised the skill sets of the Netherlands’ players.
“Obviously, they’ve beaten quite a few good opponents to be able to qualify for the tournament in the first place. So, they’re a team definitely not to be taken lightly.”
Phillips hailed Conway and Ravindra for their undefeated centuries in Ahmedabad, 152 and 123 respectively.
“They were absolutely brilliant,” said Phillips of the two left-handers who shared an unbroken 273-run stand for the second wicket to overhaul England’s 283-run target with 82 balls to spare.
“I guess from a team perspective it’s really nice to know that those two boys are in some serious form and that’s a good feeling.”
Phillips denied he was surprised at Ravindra’s stunning man of the match performance.
“Oh, no. I wasn’t surprised at all,” said Phillips of the 23-year-old batsman.
“Obviously, I’ve played a lot of cricket with him back home and he actually plays a very aggressive brand of one-day cricket.”
He added: “Being up at the top of the order, he likes to play with a lot of flair. He plays that square drive incredibly well, which with the new ball is an absolute asset.”