Australia-New Zealand series

Injured New Zealand seamer O'Rourke out of second Australia Test


Publish Date: 12:20 Monday, March 4, 2024

|| AFP ||

Black Caps seamer Will O'Rourke will miss the second Test against Australia in Christchurch this week with a hamstring strain, New Zealand Cricket said Monday.

Uncapped pace-bowler Ben Sears has been called up in his place for the second and final home game against Australia, starting Friday at Hagley Park.

The touring Australians lead the series 1-0 after their 172-run victory in the first Test, which finished on Sunday in Wellington.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said 26-year-old Sears, who has taken 58 first-class wickets in 19 appearances for Wellington, was ready for Test cricket.

"Ben's a young bowler with a quality skill set," Stead added. "He bowls with genuine pace and gets good bounce which is always a great asset in red ball cricket."

O'Rourke, 22, injured his left hamstring while bowling on Saturday. He requires at least two weeks' rehabilitation, New Zealand Cricket said.

He impressed on his Test debut last month by taking nine wickets in a home win against South Africa.

"It's disappointing for Will to be ruled out, especially after making such a strong start to his international career," Stead said.

Veteran Neil Wagner, who announced his retirement last week after not been selected for the first Test, has been released from the squad ahead of the team reassembling in Christchurch on Tuesday.

New Zealand are chasing their first win over Australia since 2011.

Black Caps opener Devon Conway will undergo surgery this week for the thumb injury he suffered during last month's 3-0 Twenty20 series defeat to Australia.

He is expected to be out for at least eight weeks, New Zealand Cricket said. The T20 World Cup, hosted by the United States and the West Indies, starts in June.