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NZ vs AUS: New Zealand pacer Will O’Rourke ruled out of 2nd test, replacement announced

Published at :March 4, 2024 at 6:50 PM
Modified at :March 4, 2024 at 6:50 PM
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(Courtesy : Twitter)

Utkarsh Rathour


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Scans revealed the extent of the injury will sideline Will O’Rourke for at least two weeks.

New Zealand’s bowling attack for the second test against Australia has suffered a setback with the news that young pacer Will O’Rourke has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury. O’Rourke sustained the injury during his bowling spell on day three of the first test in Wellington.

Scans revealed the extent of the injury will sideline him for at least two weeks, forcing him out of the crucial second test which is starting from March 8 in Christchurch. Veteran pacer Neil Wagner, who announced his retirement last week after being left out of the first test has been released from the squad which ends speculation of him playing the second game.

The statement from New Zealand cricket also revealed that Wagner had been released from the squad as planned. “Neil Wagner has been released from the squad as planned, ahead of the team reassembling in Christchurch on Tuesday,” read the statement.

Ben Sears added to New Zealand squad for second test vs Australia

To fill the shoes of O’Rourke, young fast bowler Ben Sears has been selected as the replacement in the 13-man squad. The Wellington Firebirds pace bowler Sears has picked up 58 first-class wickets at an average of 27. He will join the New Zealand team in Christchurch on Tuesday.

The decision to bring in Sears is seen as a like-for-like replacement as the management will closely watch him during the second test match against Australia.

“He hasn’t had sort of hamstring injury in the past. Disappointing for Will and disappointing for us because I thought he bowled fantastically well and for a guy that’s so young in his test career it looks like the Australians were certainly respecting him in the way that they’re playing him. I thought his spell before he got injured was absolutely outstanding,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“He’ll be a big loss for us. Ben Sears for us as the closest I guess like-for-like replacement that we thought we could find. We wanted someone with some genuine pace. Ben’s done that, he’s had recent international success against Australia as well, which was part of the decision-making and in going with him as the replacement for Will,” Gary Stead concluded.

New Zealand’s updated squad for second test:

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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