New Zealand will miss the service of their skipper Kane Williamson in the second Test against New Zealand, who will take paternity leave. Williamson’s absence will see Tom Latham lead the Kiwi side in the match starting on December 11 (Friday) in Wellington.
Kane Williamson will return to join his partner Sarah Raheem in Tauranga for the birth of their first child. The Kiwi batsman guided New Zealand to a fabulous win his man of the match effort scoring his career-best 251 in the first Test at Seddon Park.
Tom Latham to lead in Kane Williamson’s absence
He will be replaced by Will Young at Number 3 for the second match of the series as the hosts look to complete the whitewash. Meanwhile, it will not be a new experience for Tom Latham as he has captained New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson against Australia earlier this year.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead welcomed the decision and admitted that it is the best for Kane Williamson and the sport in the country. Stead looked confident about Will, who has experience of batting at No.3.
“It’s a decision we have come to around, I guess, the best decision for him [Williamson] and Sarah, and also for our team long-term, and in terms of him being in a good place to be with Sarah as well,” Gary Stead, the New Zealand head coach, said on Thursday. “Young will come in and bat three, it’s a logical replacement that he just slips into that position. Will’s played there a lot, so, yeah, it’s a natural replacement,” he added.
Incidentally, Kane Williamson was granted paternity leave by New Zealand Cricket earlier but the coach was hopeful that he would be available to play the second Test. Following the Test series against West Indies, New Zealand are set to host Pakistan for three T20Is and two Tests.