Hamstring injury rules Williamson out of Pak T20I series

Williamson is likely to return for the Test series against South Africa. (Source: X.com)

New Zealand white-ball captain Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the remaining three matches of the ongoing five-match T20I series against Pakistan. Williamson suffered a hamstring injury during the second T20I in Hamilton and retired hurt after contributing to his team’s 21-run victory. He was on 26 when he experienced stiffness in his right hamstring. 

Following a scan on Monday, the 33-year-old was confirmed to have a hamstring injury, leading to his exclusion from the third T20I and the rest of the series. Will Young has been chosen to replace him for the remaining three matches, with Mitchell Santner likely to assume the captaincy role.

Notably, this hamstring injury occurred in the same right leg that he had injured badly during the opening game of the IPL last year, necessitating surgical repair of the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He had another setback during the ODI World Cup when he suffered a fractured finger in a match against Bangladesh.

New Zealand Cricket is currently establishing a timeline for his recovery, aiming for his availability in the Test series against South Africa starting next month. Coach Gary Stead mentioned that with an eye to the first Test, Williamson will sit out of the final three T20I games to prioritise his readiness for the upcoming Test matches.

“With the Test matches so close as well and in the bigger scheme of things (they are) a higher priority, I think we’ll try and make sure he’s right for that,” Stead said.

Tim Seifert is expected to take Williamson’s place in the batting lineup, with Stead indicating that Seifert was already in line to replace Devon Conway as the wicketkeeper at some point in the series. 

“It’ll be another test without having Kane there, who I think always provides that stability to your batting. That’ll be an opportunity for, likely, Tim Seifert to come in and show what he can still do, and fill in those shoes that Kane’s probably left for the rest of the series,” added Stead.

Having already secured an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the five-match series, New Zealand will face Pakistan in the third T20I in Dunedin on January 17.

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