Updated March 4th, 2024 at 11:39 IST

New Zealand loses Will O'Rourke for 2nd test match vs. Australia; Ben Sears called up

Due to a hamstring strain, Will O'Rourke will miss the 2nd test match against Australia. Ben Sears has been selected into the team and is expected to take part.

Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Tom Blundell on day four of the first cricket test match between New Zealand and Australia at the Basin Reserve | Image: AP
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New Zealand fast bowler Will O’Rourke has been ruled out of the second cricket test against Australia with a hamstring strain.

Ben Sears, who has played 13 Twenty20 internationals for New Zealand but is uncapped in tests, has been called into the squad and is likely to play in the match which starts Friday at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

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In other injury news, opener Devon Conway will undergo surgery after damaging his left thumb during the T20 series against Australia, which will lengthen his absence from the New Zealand team to at least eight weeks.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said O’Rourke will be out for up to four weeks and said Sears had impressed.

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“Ben’s a young bowler with a quality skill set,” Stead said. “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 Black Caps in white ball cricket this summer and believe he can make the step up to the test arena if called upon.”

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Stead said the New Zealand selectors had not considered recalling Neil Wagner, the veteran seamer who retired from test cricket last week after missing selection for the first test.

“We reconsider a number of things,” Stead said. “But we thought in this case that the pace of Ben Sears and what he’s brought to us in international cricket so far is the difference that we needed.”

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Australia leads the two-test series 1-0 after winning the opener at the Basin Reserve by 172 runs .

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 11:39 IST