“Nice to Join Back up with the Side,” Williamson joins New Zealand squad for South Africa Tests

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson(Image: NZC)

After suffering a hamstring injury during the T20I series during Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand in 2024, the New Zealand batter Kane Williamson has recovered and is set to play in the first Test against South Africa.

Williamson joins New Zealand squad for South Africa Tests

The Blackcaps are set to play two tests, a three-match T20I series on the South Africa tour of New Zealand in 2024. The former Test skipper Kane Williamson is confident about his recovery from the hamstring injury. He was named in the New Zealand squad for the Test series.

On this occasion, he spoke to the media about his injury and recovery. “My hamstring is good, it’s progressed well in the last couple of weeks. Feeling good, and looking forward to getting back to training and joining up with the team,” Williamson said.

“The weather has been incredible. Extremely hot, so yup I am confident and like I said will just be nice to join back up with the side and I think all the guys are looking forward to getting back together as a Test team.”

New Zealand have been fighting with injury concerns ahead of the first test. The specialist batter has missed many crucial games during the last cricketing year due to his ACL from the IPL 2023 season.

He also suffered a thumb fracture during the ODI World Cup 2023 and then had a hamstring strain. On the other hand, Kyle Jamieson has been laid low with a back injury while wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell also suffered a hamstring injury.

Williamson reckoned that their side is injury-free while they going to the first test. “I just saw them [Blundell and Jamieson] in the lunch room and they looked comfortable eating well and I think they are fine,” Williamson said.

“Obviously with these injuries, they can vary a lot from individual to individual and Tom with his hamstring took a little bit longer having tendon involved. I think he is good, rearing to go and Kyle bowled a spell a few days ago and I think got through nicely. I think everyone is fit and well.”

Meanwhile, the South African players are busy in the SA20 2024 league. Due to the busy schedule, CSA has announced a depleted squad for the Test series.

They have 8 uncapped players included in the Test squad. Williamson said there was no chance he was taking the South Africa squad lightly and ready to take on with full efforts.

“For us, we just want to focus on the cricket that we want to play and the plans that we have and that doesn’t change from opposition to opposition,” he said.
“There are adjustments within the conditions etc, but there are some players in the South African side that members of our team are quite certainly familiar with playing county cricket and these things.
“So we are under no illusions that it is going to be a tough contest for sure. They are all very good players and we just want to keep bringing the focus back to our cricket.”
When asked about the South Africa squad, Williamson said, “I mean there is less knowledge on some of their player. That is a challenge,” Williamson said.
“Some guys are reasonably familiar with the players but it is certainly a new-look team so like I said it is important we do our homework as we do with any opposition but also really focus on our cricket.”

New Zealand has never won a Test series against South Africa. They will be looking for a victory to gain some advantage in the WTC points table. “Any win anywhere is crucial,” Williamson said.

“That’s why it is difficult to micro-manage a Test championship campaign. It’s such a long time and the games can come a bit sporadically with the Test cricket so it’s trying to just connect as a group, focus on the cricket that we want to play that gives us the best chance, and try and do that for long periods. That’s the focus going into the series,” he concluded.

New Zealand and South Africa will be playing their first Test starting on February 04 at Bay Oval.