Stead expressed confidence that Williamson would make his tournament debut in the third match of the World Cup.

"But he's progressing really well and we are pretty confident that he will be playing the third match for us.

"We've got another training to get through today, so we'll finalise the team once we've got through that training. But at this stage with Kane, we are looking like the third game is when he will start the tournament,” Stead added.

The Kiwis are cautiously managing their star player, prioritizing his well-being and ensuring that he is fully ready to contribute to their campaign.

Pace Duo's Return

While Williamson's absence is a setback, New Zealand will receive a boost with the return of fast bowlers Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson. 

Southee, who is recovering from an injury, completed a successful training session and is likely to be available for selection. 

Lockie Ferguson also trained well and is expected to be ready for the upcoming match against Netherlands.

"Lockie Ferguson got through that training really well. So providing he's scrubbed up ok this morning, he will be available for this next game,” Stead said.

"Tim Southee also got through the training really well. It was great to see him back at the bowling crease and also doing a little bit of fielding.

"He will just get a final x-ray done this morning and then we will make a call after that, but it's all looking good for selection from now on and into the rest of the tournament,” Stead added.

New Zealand is gearing up to maintain their winning momentum in the tournament as they aim for a successful campaign, and the return of these pace bowlers adds depth to their squad.