Dharamshala, Oct 21: New Zealand captain Tom Latham revealed that veteran fast-bowler Tim Southee available for selection in the side’s 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup clash against India at the HPCA Stadium on Sunday. Latham added that regular captain Kane Williamson is still nursing a fractured thumb and hoped for him to be fit in time
Southee had dislocated and fractured his right thumb while taking a catch during an ODI match against England on September 15. He underwent a surgery and got a plate and some screws inserted in the thumb to boost his recovery in a bid to take part in the World Cup, keeping him out of the first four games.
Williamson fractured his finger while completing a run against Bangladesh and retired hurt on 78 in what was his comeback game post an ACL surgery in right knee. “Kane’s obviously still nursing his thumb injury. It's a day-by-day process with him as well. Fingers crossed he'll be available for later on in the tournament. And in regards to Tim, he's available for selection,” said Latham in the pre-match press conference.
New Zealand have been a consistent side in ODI World Cups, entering the semi-final in 2011 before becoming runners-up in 2015 and 2019 editions. That’s not all – New Zealand also won the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021, apart from being runners-up in 2021 T20 World Cup and semi-finalists in next year’s tournament.
Latham attributed New Zealand’s consistency to being adaptable to various conditions presented to it in the competitions. “It's always been for us (that) is about trying to play our brand of cricket as best we can. For us sticking to our game plan and trying to do that for long periods of time and stay in the game for as long as possible has sort of been the key to what we've done.”
“Being adaptable is probably one of the most important things for us as a group and trying to do that as quick as possible. With this format you play everyone once which is obviously unique to 2015 where it was pool play.”
“Obviously the last two ODI World Cups have been obviously in Australia and England where conditions are reasonably similar to back home, whereas this one's obviously completely different where conditions are completely different.”
“So again, adapting as much as we can has been a massive thing that we talk about and doing that as quick as possible and if we can do that then hopefully that gives ourselves a good chance,” he added.
With India certain for a combination change post the left ankle injury to Hardik Pandya during the seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in Pune, Latham is confident the adaptability factor will help them in facing whatever eleven the hosts’ field on Sunday.
“On the Indian side, (they are) missing Hardik which is obviously a key member with the balance of their side. So for us it's just trying to adapt to their team, whatever that may be. That's out of our control, but our preparation will prepare for anyone or for all of their team who are going to play and we'll just wait and see what they come up with tomorrow.” (IANS)