The New Zealand pace bowler Adam Milne will be missing from the squad for the semi-final against South Africa in Auckland and indeed the remainder of their Cricket World Cup campaign should they reach next Sunday’s final in Melbourne.
The 22-year-old has suffered severe bruising to his left heel following the quarter-final win over West Indies, and according to the New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson, it could be some weeks before he is fit again.
Subject to the approval of the ICC tournament committee he is set to be replaced by Matt Henry, who was impressive for New Zealand against Pakistan in UAE at the end of last year, and was considered unlucky to miss out this time. Henry will be competing with Mitchell McClenaghan and Kyle Mills for the final place, although a decision is not likely to be made until the morning of the semi-final.
Milne has become an important member of a potent Black Caps attack, usually as first change, and has played in six of the seven matches to date, missing out only in the win over Bangladesh. His five wickets have come at almost 40 runs apiece, but his value has been the contrast his high pace has provided to the swing of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
“It is one of those injuries that he has had for maybe two weeks but he was pain free,” said Hesson. “He got through the quarter-final OK but it flared up to the point where it it has become increasingly uncomfortable for him. Adam was told this morning, and is obviously very disappointed. He is gutted and the other players are gutted for him. He is a popular member of the group.”
There is a chance that Henry could leapfrog both McClenaghan and Mills and go straight into the team. McClenaghan has played a single match and Mills none, while Henry has been involved in regular cricket for Canterbury. “That is certainly to his advantage,” agreed Hesson. Henry, 23, is one of the faster bowlers in New Zealand, reaching 90 mph regularly and in his eight ODI appearances has taken 21 wickets at 15.42 runs apiece, including 4-38 against India in Wellington on his debut just over a year ago after he had been called up as cover.
This article was written by Mike Selvey in Auckland, for theguardian.com on Monday 23rd March 2015 02.13 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010