Will O'Rourke out of second Test against Australia, New Zealand announce replacement

Updated - 04 Mar 2024, 12:39 PM

William O'Rourke
William O'Rourke (Credits: Instagram)

New Zealand have suffered a big injury blow ahead of the do-or-die second Test against Australia. The Black Caps will be without fast bowler Will O’Rourke for the final match of the series, scheduled to be played in Christchurch.

The 22-year-old will be missing the game due to a left hamstring strain, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Monday (March 4). The right-arm pacer suffered the injury while bowling on day three of the first Test between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington last week. The update from NZC further stated that Will O’Rourke will need at least two weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

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Will O’Rourke’s replacement:

New Zealand have called up uncapped fast-bowler Ben Sears as a replacement for Will O’Rourke. Sears will link up with the rest of the squad in Christchurch on Tuesday. While Sears has yet to play a Test, he has decent experience in red-ball cricket. The fast-bowler has played 19 first-class games so far and has taken 58 wickets at an average of 27.

“Ben’s a young bowler with a quality skill set,” New Zealand head coach Gary 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 BLACKCAPS 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,” he added.

With Sears being added to the squad, Neil Wagner has been released from the New Zealand squad. Some reports were suggesting that the left-arm pacer might get a farewell Test after Will O’Rourke’s injury but the New Zealand team management has decided otherwise. The left-arm pacer announced his retirement from international cricket before the first Test.

Meanwhile, New Zealand will be looking to bounce back and win the upcoming game to avoid a series loss. The Black Caps suffered a crushing loss of 172 runs in the first Test. The second Test is scheduled to be played on Thursday (March 7) at Hagley Oval.

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Ben Sears New Zealand national cricket team NZ vs AUS 2024 Will O'Rourke