3rd ODI: Williamson boost for BlackCaps ahead of final ODI at Bay Oval
Debasis Sen, Mt Maunganui: The last time India faced New Zealand here at the Bay Oval for the fifth T20I, both Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson could not take the field due to injuries. Come Tuesday, when both the modern greats will walk in to toss the coin for the third and final ODI of the series. Having already taken an unassailable lead in the three match ODI series, the hosts will be further strengthened by their inspirational captain Kane Williamson. The Kiwi batsman has been out for the last four matches in the ensuing series due to a troubled shoulder.
After a solid training session Williamson was confirmed to return from a four-game absence on his home ground Bay Oval.
The BlackCaps skipper hasn’t played since the third Twenty20 in Hamilton on January 29 when he suffered an inflamed AC joint in his left shoulder diving in the field, before unleashing a stunning knock of 95 off 48 balls which saw the Black Caps tie with India before losing in a Super Over.
In the absence of Williamson, Tome Latham led New Zealand have already sealed the ODI series, winning the first two ODI’s in Hamilton (by four wickets) and Auckland (by 22 runs).
“He certainly had a full workout and all is on track for tomorrow. He’s looking good to be ready to play. We’ll have one final look at him in the morning and make sure nothing happens overnight,” said stand-in Black Caps head coach Shane Jurgensen after the side trained at Bay Oval on Monday.
Jurgensen said medical staffs are confident the injury had stabilised and would not get any worse by Williamson playing, 10 days out from the first test against India in Wellington starting on Friday week.