New Zealand’s star batsman, Kane Williamson, is set to miss the opening day of the Test series against Sri Lanka in Christchurch following the death of his grandmother. Williamson’s grandmother, Joan Williamson-Orr, was a former mayor of Taupo. The cricketer will attend her memorial service before joining the squad. However, his captain, Tim Southee, confirmed that Williamson has been training with his domestic side, Northern Districts, and will be “ready to go” against Sri Lanka.
Southee also spoke about the team’s recent Test series against England, which they managed to level with a one-run win in the second match. The skipper expressed his pleasure at the growing interest in Test cricket in the country, with the Basin Reserve filled for all five days of the match. He also praised England’s contribution to the exciting cricket played during the series.
However, Southee quickly shifted the team’s focus to the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. The tourists need to win both matches and hope that India loses or draws the final Test against Australia to qualify for the World Test Championship final. Southee emphasized the importance of staying humble and not getting carried away by the recent victory over England.
The absence of Kane Williamson in the first Test will be a blow for New Zealand, as he is one of their most dependable batsmen. However, the team has enough quality players to cover for his absence. Tom Latham is likely to lead the batting line-up, with Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls providing support. The bowling attack, led by Tim Southee and Trent Boult, is one of the best in the world and is expected to pose a significant challenge to the Sri Lankan batsmen.
Sri Lanka has struggled in Test cricket in recent years, winning only two of their last ten matches. However, they have a few players who can turn the match on its head, such as Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal. The team will also be buoyed by the return of their experienced fast bowler, Suranga Lakmal, who missed the Test series against England due to an injury.
New Zealand is expected to dominate the Test series, given their recent form and the home advantage. However, they cannot afford to take Sri Lanka lightly, as they have the potential to cause an upset. The absence of Williamson is a reminder that cricket is not just about individual brilliance, but also about teamwork and resilience.
The recent Test series between New Zealand and England showcased the beauty of Test cricket, with both teams playing aggressive and entertaining cricket. The high level of interest generated by the series is a positive sign for the future of the format, which has been overshadowed by the shorter versions of the game in recent years. The success of the World Test Championship has also helped to raise the profile of Test cricket and provide context to bilateral series.
In conclusion, Kane Williamson’s absence from the opening day of the Test series against Sri Lanka is a reminder that cricket is a team sport and that no individual is bigger than the game. New Zealand has the depth and quality to cover for his absence and continue their winning momentum.