New Zealand were dealt a massive blow ahead of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India with skipper Kane Williamson ruled out of opening two one-dayers. Williamson's absence from the first two games will be a massive setback for a team looking to bounce back from its 0-5 drubbing in the preceding Twenty20 International (T20I) series. Team physio Vijay Vallabh said Williamson was struggling to shrug off a shoulder injury that kept him out of the final two T20 fixtures. He said Williamson would definitely miss the opening two ODIs but hoped to return for the third and final match of the series in Mount Maunganui next week.
"Kane has had an X-ray scan which cleared him of anything serious, but it's best for his recovery that he avoids aggravating the joint for the next few days," Vallabh was quoted as saying by New Zealand Cricket.
"He will continue his fitness training sessions throughout the week and will start batting again on Friday with the prospect of being available for game three next Tuesday."
Selectors named Tom Latham as stand-in captain and called up Mark Chapman, who scored back-to back centuries against India A last week, to reinforce the batting.
Selector Gavin Larsen said that in-form Auckland Aces left-hander Mark Chapman has been called up to the squad. Left-hander Tom Latham will lead the New Zealand side in Williamson's absence.
"It's hugely disappointing for Kane, but with so much important cricket still ahead this summer we must take a safety first approach," Larsen said.
"It's great to welcome Mark back into the one-day unit off the back of consecutive centuries for New Zealand A against a strong India A side.
"Mark's a versatile player who can cover multiple batting positions and his fielding is a real upshot to have in the squad."
The first ODI will be played at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday.
(With AFP inputs)