Wellington - Kane Williamson's absence for possibly the next three matches against Sri Lanka could be a blessing in disguise for New Zealand, with the batting order given the opportunity to fine tune plans for the Cricket World Cup.
Test opener Tom Latham will bat in Williamson's place at number three in the second game against Sri Lanka in Hamilton on Thursday, top-order batsman Ross Taylor said on Wednesday.
Williamson, who is out for about seven to 10 days with a slight shoulder injury, has scored 722 runs, including seven half centuries and one century, at 72.20 in the past 12 months and is considered crucial to the co-hosts World Cup hopes.
New Zealand co-host the February 14 to March 29 Cricket World Cup with Australia.
"It's probably a good thing," Taylor said of Williamson's enforced absence. "We want to see how these guys handle themselves under pressure.
"Kane has been the go-to guy for the last 12-18 months. It will be different but exciting as well to see how (these guys) go under pressure, (which) bodes well for the World Cup."