Kane Williamson faces fitness battle ahead of New Zealand v England second ODI

New Zealand must wait to see if skipper Kane Williamson will be fit to face England in the second one-day international on Wednesday.

Williamson has a “mild hamstring strain”, with Tim Southee on standby to take over the captaincy if required, while Mark Chapman has been brought in as batting cover.

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February 28, 2018, 12:30am

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The Black Caps are looking to secure a national record-equalling 10th successive victory in ODIs and although New Zealand coach Mike Hesson confirmed his skipper is an injury doubt, he is hopeful Williamson will be available for the game at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, live on Sky Sports.

“Kane has a mild hamstring strain. He’ll have to prove his fitness… make sure he’s 100 per cent,” said Hesson. “We are optimistic he’ll be fine, but we aren’t sure.

“It would be a big blow. Kane is a high-quality player, but we have to have confidence in our squad as well.

Jos Buttler rued some errors in the field as England slipped to a three-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the first ODI in Hamilton

“There’ll be some minor adjustments. But during the year, when Kane hasn’t played, we’ve been able to put in a performance, so it won’t be an excuse.”

Chapman is uncapped by New Zealand in 50-over cricket, but featured against England in this month’s Twenty20 Trans-Tasman Tri-series, which also included Australia.

Hesson has faith in Chapman, who after just two ODIs for his native Hong Kong against United Arab Emirates in 2015 has an average of 151 and strike rate of 100.

“We always want to Kane to play… he’s a quality leader but your side has to be good enough to deal with things from time to time,” added Hesson

“Chappy isn’t coming in for his first game – he’s played against these guys a week or so ago.”

Watch the second ODI between New Zealand and England on Wednesday. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event at 12:30am.