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Devon Conway set to miss the first test against Australia

By Real11 - Feb 28 2024 202 Views
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Devon Conway unavailable for the opening test against Australia

New Zealand will miss the services of opening batter Devon Conway for the opening test against Australia starting on Thursday (February 29) in Wellington. The southpaw is still nursing a left thumb injury sustained during the recently concluded T20I series against the same opposition. The team management have included Henry Nicholls into the squad as replacement but Will Young is likely to occupy the vacant spot at the top of the order. 

Conway injured his left thumb during the second T20I in Auckland last Friday. He did not keep wickets or bat in that game after the blow and was later ruled out of the remainder of the series. Scans had initially cleared him of fracture but further examinations revealed issues with the left thumb. He will now undergo more assessment during the week to find out the treatment and recuperation period. The second test of the series commences in Christchurch on March 8. 

“It's disappointing for Devon to be ruled out on the eve of an important match," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said. "He's a class player batting at the top of the order for us and I know he was really looking forward to this series."

New Zealand had also been working on the fitness of Rachin Ravindra after the youngster complained about soreness in his left knee and sat out the final match of the T20I series but Stead confirmed the all rounder’s availability at Basin Reserve. 

Kiwis went with four seamers in their last test series against the Proteas, but Stead said that in hindsight that perhaps was the wrong call. However, considering the greenish tinge to the pitch at Basin Reserve, they might be enticed to add Scott Kuggeleijn to the trio of Tim Southee, Matt Henry and William O’ Rourke. 

“I think in hindsight, we probably got that wrong the way that the pitch did behave," Stead said. "We've certainly got Mitch Santner here as that option and we'll certainly consider him as well."

New Zealand have been unsuccessful in defeating Australia in a Test match since 2011 and Stead said the series was an opportunity for the Black Caps, who currently sit at the top of the World Test Series standings. 

“We don't play Australia that often, which is strange considering that they're just across the Tasman there," Stead said. "But, look, they always set the benchmark and are current world Test champions and they are that for a reason. They're a very good side. But that's our opportunity. And that's for us to go out and I guess show our wares and we're certainly looking forward to the challenge that is ahead."

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