Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, trained with the squad following their resounding victory over England in the opening match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023, but is expected to sit out.
While Williamson continues to work his way back to full fitness, New Zealand are set to be buoyed by the availability of fast bowlers Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson.
Williamson will miss New Zealand’s second match of the tournament when they face Netherlands on October 9 while he targets a return to the side four days later against Bangladesh.
The 33-year-old batted in New Zealand’s Cricket World Cup warm-up matches against Pakistan and South Africa, but was not risked in the field as he continues to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament earlier this year.
"Kane's been progressing very well,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said on Sunday.
"I think the fielding is still the element for him that he's just got to get a little bit higher, and he gets a little bit more trust in his body. But he's progressing really well and we are pretty confident that he will be playing the third match for us. We've got another training to get through today, so we'll finalise the team (for the match against Netherlands) once we've got through that training. But at this stage with Kane, we are looking like the third game is when he will start the tournament,” Gary Stead added.
New Zealand thumped England by nine wickets as they chased down a target of 283 with 82 balls to spare off the back of unbeaten centuries to Devon Conway (152*) and Rachin Ravindra (123*).
Trent Boult and Matt Henry took the new ball while New Zealand were later able to turn to spin as they restricted their nemesis from the epic final of the Cricket World Cup 2019.
The high-flying New Zealand are now set to be boosted by the availability of pacers Southee and Ferguson as they look to continue their strong start to the group stage.
"Lockie Ferguson got through that training really well. So providing he's scrubbed up ok this morning, he will be available for this next game. Tim Southee also got through the training really well. It was great to see him back at the bowling crease and also doing a little bit of fielding. He will just get a final x-ray done this morning and then we will make a call after that, but it's all looking good for selection from now on and into the rest of the tournament,” New Zealand head coach added further.