New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is set to miss the upcoming home Test series against South Africa. Williamson is currently in his rehabilitation from an elbow injury and wont be able to play the three-match Test leg against the Proteas starting in Christchurch on February 17.

The Black Caps squad for the red-ball battle is expected to be announced late this week and Tom Latham is set to lead the hosts in Williamson’s absence. Notably, Williamson wasn’t available for the recently-concluded Test leg against Bangladesh which ended in a draw after both sides won one game each.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead was optimistic about Williamson’s return but also opined that Williamson might need to cut down his extensive preparations.

“I hope we can get to a stage where it will be like that, but there’s no guarantee and it’s something we’ve talked about. Kane may just have to adjust how he goes about preparing and maybe not having quite as extensive net sessions in preparation periods. That’s still something to be determined on how the elbow does shape up,” said Stead as quoted by Stuff.

Notably, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) wants to manage the workload of Williamson well, considering the pack schedule ahead. This includes his stint with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), a three-test series away to England in June and the Twenty20 World Cup 2022 in Australia in late October. Regarding the same, Stead had said in January that they don’t want to push Williamson to get ready early as they have tried it a few times and the result wasn’t satisfactory.

“The idea is to have no pain at all. In the past couple of times we’ve tried and maybe pushed him a bit early, so we’ve got to be particular around the programme,” Stead had said.

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