NZ quick O’Rourke out of 2nd Test against Aus with injury; Sears called in as replacement

Christchurch, March 4 – New Zealand pace-bowler Will O’Rourke has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia after scans revealed a left-hamstring strain, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said on Monday.

O’Rourke sustained the injury while bowling on day three of the first Test in Wellington and will require at least two weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

Uncapped fast-bowler Ben Sears will replace O’Rourke in the 13-man squad and will join the team in Christchurch on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old has 58 First-Class wickets from his 19 appearances at an average of 27.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said Sears, “Ben’s a young bowler with a quality skill set. He bowls with genuine pace and gets good bounce which is always a great asset in red-ball cricket.

“We’ve been really impressed by his performances for the BLACKCAPS in white ball cricket this summer and believe he can make the step up to the Test arena if called upon.”

“It’s disappointing for Will to be ruled out, especially after making such a strong start to his international career. He’s shown he’s a player with huge potential and at 22-years-old we’re hopeful we will see a lot more of him in the Black Cap,” he added.

Neil Wagner, who has announced his retirement earlier, has been released from the squad as planned, ahead of the team reassembling in Christchurch.

The second Test against Australia starts on Thursday at Hagley Oval.

Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears, Kane Williamson, Will Young


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