New Zealand have flown in allrounder Kyle Jamieson as cover for pacer Matt Henry in their ICC Cricket World Cup squad. Jamieson will reach Bengaluru late on Thursday, before the team’s game against Pakistan at the M Chinnswammy Stadium on Saturday. Jamieson was previously in the squad as a backup option to Tim Southee, who was recovering from an injury. However, Southee recovered and featured against South Africa on Wednesday. Jamieson was then sent back to play in the Plunkett Shield.
Henry hurt his right hamstring during the South Africa game on Wednesday and was not able to finish his quota of overs. Earlier, Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of the game owing to an Achilles injury. With two bowlers out injured, New Zealand coach Gary Stead said there was no option but to bring in cover.
“The severity of Matt’s injury, combined with a short turnaround to Pakistan, meant we couldn’t risk being a bowler down for Saturday,” Gary Stead said. Stead said Jamieson was well prepared to return to India.
“Kyle’s on his way over as we speak and we look forward to welcoming him back into the group. He’ll likely train with us on Friday with a mind to be available for Saturday’s game. Kyle was able to train for two full weeks with us earlier in the tournament and has since played a Plunket Shield match – so we’re confident he’ll be able to hit the ground running,” added Stead.
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Adding further to New Zealand’s injury woes is a blow to the wrist for Jimmy Neesham during his follow-through in the SA game. He could come out to bat only at No.9. However, one positive news from the camp is that Ferguson is most likely to be fit for the Pakistan game on Saturday. The tearaway pacer had an Achilles injury during the Australia game in Dharamsala.
New Zealand’s campaign has been marred by a string of injuries, with skipper Kane Williamson out with a fracture, Mark Chapman out with a calf injury, and now Henry suffering a hamstring injury. For the SA game, New Zealand only had 11 fit players, with Ish Sodhi substituting for Henry.
New Zealand’s decision to fly in Kyle Jamieson as cover for Matt Henry is a wise one. The team has been hit by a number of injuries in the tournament, and they need all the depth they can get. Jamieson is a quality allrounder who can bat and bowl. He has already played in the tournament, so he is familiar with the conditions. He should be able to slot straight into the team if needed.
The news that Lockie Ferguson is likely to be fit for the Pakistan game is also a positive for New Zealand. Ferguson is one of their most dangerous bowlers, and his return will boost their attack. However, the team will need to be careful with their workload management. They cannot afford to lose any more players to injury.