New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne has been ruled out of Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final against South Africa at Eden Park, with coach Mike Hesson calling up Matt Henry to join the squad,reports AFP. Hesson said Monday that a left heel injury had forced Milne out of the remainder of the tournament and the International Cricket Council cleared Henry to join the New Zealand line up “for the knockout stage of the tournament.
However, coach Hesson was giving nothing away about who would be promoted to the starting XI. Milne was an automatic choice as the third quick behind Tim Southee and Trent Boult, with Mitchell McClenaghan preferred ahead of Kyle Mills when a shoulder injury kept Milne out of the Bangladesh match.
“Once we get to the ground tomorrow we’ll look at whoever is available in the squad and we’ll look at the wicket again and we’ll pick what we deem to be the best squad,” Hesson said. Henry will “be considered along with the others”. Captain Brendon McCullum said the loss of Milne could force a rethink of New Zealand’s strategy for the sudden-death match against South Africa.
Much would depend on the overhead conditions with the prospect of less swing than when New Zealand bowled out Australia for 151 on the same ground, he said. “The way we have operated with Adam in that third seamer role has worked quite well for us coming in after our two opening bowlers swinging the ball. “That doesn’t mean we have to roll out the same game plan or same strategy, but it has served us well over the last little while.”
“We probably need to have another look at the wicket tomorrow, look at the overhead conditions as well and try and factor all of those things in.” Milne felt discomfort following New Zealand’s comprehensive quarter-final win against the West Indies on Saturday and a scan showed significant swelling around the heel. “It’s certainly serious enough to rule him out of the tournament from a playing perspective. We’ve certainly got more tests to do in terms of the extent of it but we’re thinking more in weeks than longer than that,” added the captain.
Milne, who bowled Chris Gayle for 61 in New Zealand’s 143-run quarter-final victory, has taken five wickets for 199 in the tournament. Henry, who has only played eight ODIs, has impressive career figures of 21 wickets at an average of 15.42.