Ahead of the all-important five-game T20I series against England, hosts New Zealand have suffered a major blow as their skipper and prolific batsman Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the 20-over series. The reports state that it is the hip injury which has ruled him out of the T20I games.
Following the opening round of the Plunket Shield, Kane featured against Canterbury for Northern Districts and was found uncomfortable. The 29-year old, who averages 31.35 in 55 T20I games at a strike-rate of 121.76, is a main batting pillar of the Kiwis.
To cover his absence, New Zealand installed veteran pacer Tim Southee as the leader of the pack. Southee also led the Blackcaps against Sri Lanka when Williamson was rested.
Moreover, all-rounder James Neesham, who missed the last series, has been called back into the squad. While it is hard to overemphasize the importance of Kane Williamson for New Zealand, coach Gary Stead believes that his squad contains enough depth to claim glory against a dynamic unit like England.