New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has confirmed that New Zealand’s practise game, which was initially a three-day game, has been curtailed to just two days, owing to rain and wet conditions. Stead also confirmed that IPL stars, including Kane Williamson, would be available for the game.
New Zealand were well on course to their first practise game in England, after arriving in the country earlier this month. However, the three-day warm-up game that was scheduled to kick off on Wednesday has now been reduced to a two-day encounter, with New Zealand’s head coach Gary Stead confirming that the squad will train on Wednesday before playing the warm-up clash on Thursday.
"It's been a little bit frustrating, because you come over and guys just want to get a feel for the different conditions here," Stead said on Tuesday, reported Cricbuzz.
"I guess when you come to an English summer you still expect to get outside occasionally. We've been lucky with the buildup we had in New Zealand. We trained on grass wickets, we had two camps as well. So it's not like we're miles behind or anything like that,” he added.
The squad warm up match originally scheduled for three days this week will now be a two day game and will feature the three IPL players now that they can train with the wider squad. The game will start on Thursday with the Williamson XI taking on the Latham XI #ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/VWSOFU5ZmM— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) May 24, 2021
However, luckily for the BlackCaps, the Indian Premier League troika of Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson would be out of quarantine just before the first day of the practise clash. BlackCaps also confirmed that Williamson would skipper one side against Latham’s XI, instead of Tim Southee.
"It's just a little bit different when you've got a bigger squad and stuff as well, with 20-odd players here, to manage their expectations when you're indoors is a little bit more difficult. But something that I guess we try and pride ourselves on is our ability to just roll with the punches and keep adapting to what's in front of us," he added.
Stead also confirmed that Trent Boult would arrive in England by June 3, right in time to be eligible for selection for the second Test at Edgbaston.
"Trent's looking to leave New Zealand on the third of June, which is the second day of the test match at Lord's. So he will come into London and join up with the team somewhere around the time that we're heading up to Birmingham," Stead said.