Cricket Article

Black Caps Double Blow Ahead of West Indies Series

Black Caps Double Blow Ahead of West Indies Series Photo: TT
New Zealand's Colin de Grandhomme

New Zealand have suffered a double blow ahead of their series against the West Indies which starts with a T20 International on Friday with injuries ruling out two key players.

Colin de Grandhomme has been withdrawn from the New Zealand Test squad due to a right foot complaint which has kept him out since October and hasn’t recovered in time.

Ajaz Patel has also been deemed unavailable due to calf tear which hasn’t improved enough for the First Test which will be played in Hamilton from December 3.

Mitch Santner has been drafted into the Test squad for Patel, while all-rounder Daryl Mitchell comes in for 34-year-old de Grandhomme who has been a regular in the Black Caps’ Test XI in recent times.

Prior to that Test series, New Zealand and the West Indies will play three T20Is starting on Friday in Auckland. The Windies may have flair all over their side but they are currently ninth on the ICC T20 Men’s Rankings, behind Bangladesh and narrowly ahead of Afghanistan.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said: “The unavailability of Colin and Ajaz has obviously had a flow-on effect to our T20 squad who are providing the replacement players for the Test squad,.

“I highlighted last week how tight and complex the schedule was - so when you throw in some injuries, it really begins to challenge how you juggle your resources.

“Mitch and Daryl will be available for the final T20 game, before linking up with the Test squad on Tuesday where we will monitor them closely to ensure theyre fit and fresh ahead of the first Test on Thursday.”

Stead backed Santner and Mitchell to make an impact at Test level.

“They both proved last summer in the Tests against England what they can do in our conditions with Mitch scoring a century and claiming three wickets at Bay Oval, while Daryl produced a polished half-century on debut at Seddon Park,” Stead said.

Stead added that it’s hoped that de Grandhomme will be fit for New Zealand’s later two-match Test series against Pakistan.

“It’s disappointing for Colin to be ruled out of the Tests completely and he’ll now target being fit and available for the Boxing Day Test at Bay Oval,” Stead said.

“Ajaz will join the team in Hamilton to have treatment and train. We will make a call on the second Test in Wellington closer to the time.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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