WELLINGTON: New Zealand strike bowler Tim Southee will miss the upcoming one-day series against Australia but Blackcaps coach Mike Hesson was optimistic the seamer would recover from a foot injury in time for the subsequent test series.
Southee, 27, has been a spectator for the ongoing Twenty20 series against Pakistan after suffering bruising to the bone in his left foot during the one-day series against Sri Lanka last month.
Hesson said the three match one-day series against Australia, starting in Auckland on Feb. 3, was too soon for Southee but the two-test series beginning in Wellington nine days later was more likely.
“Tim is progressing nicely and he’ll be with us this week (in Wellington) to help work with his rehab,” Hesson was quoted as saying by New Zealand media on Wednesday.
“He’s unlikely (to play the Australia ODIs). We’ll focus on the test series at this stage and make sure that he’s firing. We certainly won’t force him playing any games earlier than that unless we need him.”
Hesson said Boult could play a four-day domestic game to shake off the rust and prove his fitness before facing Australia, who can become the top ranked test playing nation if they win the two-match series.
The coach said that retiring skipper Brendon McCullum was also making good progress from a back complaint and should feature in the one-day series against Pakistan before the Australians arrive for his final clash.
“Brendon’s likely to be back for (the third one-dayer against Pakistan on Jan. 31),” Hesson said.
“He’s progressing really well and doing plenty of work away from the game, from a fitness point of view and we’re really pleased with the way he’s tracking. Hopefully he’ll play a part in the Pakistan series and if he does that will be good prep for the Chappell-Hadlee (against Australia) and beyond.”