New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will miss the second Test match against West Indies in Wellington as he has taken the paternity leave for the arrival of his first child.
Williamson will now fly home to Tauranga, which is 500 kilometres away from Wellington, to be with his wife, Sarah Raheem.
“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,” said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead in a video message uploaded by NZ cricket team’s official Twitter handle.
Will Young will replace Williamson: Stead
Williamson, who smashed his career-best 251 in the first Test at Seddon Park in Blackcap’s biggest Test win over Caribbeans, will be replaced by Will Young at Number 3 for the second match.
“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,” added Stead.
Stead also revealed that in the absence of Williamson, left-handed batsman Tom Latham would captain the Kiwi side.
“Tom Latham will take over as captain. He has been Test captain in the past for us, and he’s got a calm head on his shoulders, and I know with a lot of other leaders in our team that he will lean on them for their support as well,” Stead added further.
Kane Williamson will return to Tauranga tonight to be with his wife Sarah and will miss the second Gillette Test tomorrow against the West Indies. Will Young will come into the side and bat at 3. Tom Latham will be captain. #NZvWI pic.twitter.com/cyCSNxJ4Eu
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 10, 2020
Stead, however, didn’t confirm if Williamson will miss any further matches as, after the second Test, which is scheduled for December 11-15, the home team will face Pakistan in the three-match T20I series starting December 18.
Williamson was recently ranked the second-best batsman in the world with India’s Virat Kohli in the ICC Test rankings. The Kiwi superstar has overall played 81 Tests, scoring 6727 runs at an outstanding average of 52.5 with 22 hundreds and 32 half-centuries.