Injury Blow for New Zealand as Daryl Mitchell Ruled Out of Second Test and T20I Series

In a setback for New Zealand, Daryl Mitchell will miss the second Test against South Africa and the T20I series against Australia due to an foot injury.

New Zealand faces a significant setback as middle-order batter Daryl Mitchell has been declared unfit for the second Test against South Africa and the upcoming T20I series against Australia due to an ongoing foot injury, as confirmed by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Thursday.

Despite recent periods of rest, including sitting out the 5th T20I against Pakistan and the Super Smash Finals, Mitchell continues to experience discomfort, prompting the team management to opt for a focused period of rehabilitation. The 32-year-old right-hander played a crucial role in New Zealand’s comprehensive 281-run victory over South Africa in the first Test in Mount Maunganui, contributing scores of 34 and 11*.

No replacement has been named for Daryl Mitchell in the second Test, and fast bowler Will O’Rourke will join the squad for the match. The remaining members of the squad from the first Test at Bay Oval will travel to Hamilton.

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New Zealand’s head coach, Gary Stead, explained that the decision was made with a long-term perspective, aiming to ensure Mitchell’s complete fitness for the upcoming Tegel Test series against Australia, which commences on February 29.

“Daryl is a hugely important member of the squad in all three formats, and ensuring he is in the best shape is vital with the period of matches to come,” said Stead. He emphasized that considering the upcoming schedule, the timing is appropriate for Mitchell to undergo a period of rehabilitation.

The New Zealand team is scheduled to travel to Hamilton on Saturday morning in preparation for the second Test against South Africa at Seddon Park, set to commence on February 13.

IANS