Injuries to key players allowed others to step in: Williamson

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson

Mount Maunganui,  New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is happy that injuries to key players gave a chance to others to shine in the ODI series which they won 3-0 against India.

The Kiwis completed a 3-0 sweep of India in the ODI series with a five-wicket victory in the final game, avenging their hammering in the preceding five-match T20 series.

Williamson, who returned from injury to lead the team in the third ODI, said although the 50-over World Cup in 2023 is still far away, the team was in a good space.

“That’s such a long way away (the 2023 World Cup). Then you have injuries and you bring guys in. There were some brilliant opportunities for guys who grew throughout this campaign and played some major roles as well.

“Injuries aren’t ideal but there are still silver linings that guys come in and get opportunities to develop their games against one of the best teams in the world,” Williamson said.

Williamson lauded his side’s effort in inflicting on India their first ODI series whitewash since 1989.

“Although we were 2-0 going up into this, there were certainly those expectations coming into this game to try and implement those things and also learn from those past performances that we had against India who are obviously one of the best sides in the world.

“It was an outstanding effort and a very clinical effort from the guys and I think the way we fought back with the ball was outstanding and the partnerships throughout that chase were brilliant as well.”

Williamson also hoped a full-strength squad will be available for the Test series after key players like Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson missed both the T20I and ODI series due to injury. New Zealand were whitewashed 5-0 in the T20 series.

Willamson also missed the final two T20Is and the first two matches of the ODI series due to injury.

“We are expecting all of those guys to be fit for the first Test and they’ve been tracking nicely. It’s an exciting opportunity against one of the best sides in the world,” Williamson said.

“It’s part and parcel of the game that you get guys who get injuries. We’ve obviously had a lot of that in recent times to deal with but there have not been any excuses.

“Guys have come in to try and play the roles that they’re given to the best of their ability and learnt a heap along the way,” he added.

The two-match Test series starts in Wellington on February 21.