New Zealand is facing several injury concerns ahead of the start of the upcoming home season starting with the bilateral series against the West Indies on the 29th of November in Auckland.
At the moment, West Indies players are in isolation in a bio-secure facility in Christchurch for the next 10 days, while the Black Caps have been preparing for the three Twenty20 internationals later this month followed by a two-match Test series starting on December 3, 2020.
Ahead of their first international fixture at home following the COVID-19 forced shutdown, the hosts New Zealand were hit by the injury concerns to many of their top-ranked players ahead of the upcoming bilateral series against the West Indies.
Well, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead’s biggest concern is with the bowling unit, as pace spearhead Tim Southee (back), fellow pace bowlers Neil Wagner (groin/hip) and Matt Henry (broken thumb), and first-choice test spinner Ajaz Patel (calf) are all under the cloud for the home series.
All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has also sustained a foot injury while middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls has a calf strain and Stead is anxiously awaiting the outcome of medical checks over the next week to have a clearer picture about the squad before the first T20I in Auckland.
Stead said in a statement on Wednesday: “Injuries are always a concern and we’re certainly monitoring each case closely with our medical staff.”
Meanwhile, Southee's injury isn’t looking too serious as the bowler is likely to be available for Northern Districts' first-class match against Central Districts next week after being rested for Thursday’s game against Canterbury as a precaution but both De Grandhomme and Wagner has to undergo a scan.
The head coach further said Patel's recovery is taking longer than expected and he needs to have another scan while Henry has been out of action for 4-6 weeks, which means he is unlikely for the T20I series and a doubt for the Test series against the West Indies.
Nicholls is likely to be available for Canterbury's clash with Otago next week.
(With Reuters Inputs)