Despite back-to-back losses in warm-up matches against Australia and England, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead believes the squad is on track for the T20 World Cup 2021. During the warm-ups, Stead was delighted that the players received some match time despite the incredibly humid circumstances.
New Zealand, the runners-up in the 2019 World Cup, is one of the favourites to win the T20 World Cup 2021, which is now underway. The Black Caps, on the other hand, failed to make an impression in the warm-up matches, losing back-to-back to Australia and England, respectively.
Meanwhile, head coach Gary Stead was delighted that the players got some match experience during the warm-up games, which he believes would help the squad adjust to the intense heat in the UAE.
“Really, the three games (including one last week against the Netherlands) have simply been about getting everyone some match action,” Stead told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s been making sure we’ve assigned individuals to the appropriate positions and managing our bowlers.
“Three games in five days may not seem like a lot, but it’s a lot when you’re dealing with the heat and humidity that he’s dealing with here.”
Kane Williamson, the captain, had an elbow injury and was forced to sit out the match against England. According to Stead, the team is giving Williamson with a better environment and some relaxation so that he can stay fit throughout the competition.
“After the (Australia) match, Kane’s elbow flared up a little, so today was more preventative than anything,” Stead explained.
“We just believe that if we can get his preparation correct, including not overhitting and aggravating it in practise, he will have the best opportunity of doing well during the tournament.
“I believe we’re doing pretty well on the overall.”
Williamson’s fast recovery was hoped for by the 49-year-old ahead of the Super 12 stage.
“There’s always a risk,” he added, “but we’re still hoping and sure that if we get (his) rest right now, he’ll be ready to play.”
On Tuesday, October 26 in Sharjah, New Zealand will kick off their Super 12s campaign against Pakistan.