New Zealand Fast Bowler O’Rourke Sidelined for Second Australia Test due to Injury

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Ben Sears, an uncapped pace-bowler, has replaced the injured O’Rourke for the second and final home game against Australia. The series stands at 1-0 in favor of the touring Australians after their 172-run victory in the first Test in Wellington on Sunday. New Zealand head coach Gary Stead expressed confidence in 26-year-old Sears, highlighting his 58 first-class wickets in 19 appearances for Wellington, stating that he is prepared for Test cricket. The upcoming match is set to begin on Friday at Hagley Park.

Ben’s a young bowler with a quality skill set,” Stead added. “He bowls with genuine pace and gets good bounce which is always a great asset in red ball cricket.

O’Rourke, 22, injured his left hamstring while bowling on Saturday. He requires at least two weeks’ rehabilitation, New Zealand Cricket said.

Last month, he made a strong impression in his Test debut, securing nine wickets in a home victory against South Africa.

It’s disappointing for Will to be ruled out, especially after making such a strong start to his international career,” Stead said.

Neil Wagner, the veteran who recently retired after not making the first Test cut, has been let go from the squad as they regroup in Christchurch on Tuesday. New Zealand aims for their first victory over Australia since 2011.

Devon Conway, the Black Caps opener, will undergo surgery this week for a thumb injury sustained in the recent 3-0 Twenty20 series loss to Australia. He is anticipated to be sidelined for at least eight weeks, according to New Zealand Cricket. The T20 World Cup, scheduled for June and hosted by the United States and the West Indies, is on the horizon.

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