Black Caps suffer another injury blow

Will O'Rourke has been ruled out of the second test against Australia in Christchurch. but that...
Will O'Rourke has been ruled out of the second test against Australia in Christchurch. but that doesn't mean a recall for Neil Wagner. Photo: Getty Images
The hits keep coming for the Black Caps with a double injury blow ahead of the second test against Australia.

Pace bowler Will O’Rourke and opening batsman Devon Conway have both been ruled out of the next match at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval starting on Thursday.

O’Rourke suffered a left hamstring strain in the first test defeat in Wellington while Conway will undergo surgery on the left thumb he damaged during the T20I series which ruled him out of the first test.

Uncapped Wellington Firebirds pace-bowler Ben Sears will replace O’Rourke in the 13-man squad and will join the team in Christchurch tomorrow. Neil Wagner has been released from the squad as planned.

The Black Caps were already without paceman Kyle Jamieson. Canterbury batter Henry Nicholls who was called in as cover for the first test will stay with the squad.

The 26-year-old Sears has 58 first class wickets from his 19 appearances at an average of 27.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead said Sears was ready for test cricket.

“Ben’s a young bowler with a quality skill set,” he 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.

“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.”