In a recent development, it has now been known that New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell will miss their first game of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 against defending champions Australia.
Daryl Mitchell, who sustained a fracture in his finger, is unlikely to be available for the World Cup opener in Sydney on October 22. However, Black Caps coach Gary Stead is hopeful that Mitchell will be available for their second match against Afghanistan.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead to name replacement after thoroughly assessing Daryl Mitchell’s injury
Mitchell’s unavailability for the opening match also means New Zealand will be without their first-choice XI, and the side will be taking a call on his replacement only after assessing the conditions in Sydney.
“Daryl would have been in our first XI so I think in all likelihood he is unlikely to be available for that first game. It is more likely the second game is what we are targeting at this stage. I think the one thing we’ve not done is gone to Sydney and had a look at the pitch, what the condition of the pitch is. It’s obviously the first game of the World Cup and the first match is being played at the SCG after the AFL season as well. We just have to look at the conditions, have a look at what’s put in front of us before we make some calls on that final XI. But in terms of the structure of the side, we have tried to keep it reasonably consistent throughout the tri-series as well.”
Giving all Kiwi players game-time in warm-up matches will be a priority reckons Gary Stead
Stead also highlighted that while New Zealand is mindful of the players’ workload, all the players in the squad except for Mitchell will be given an opportunity to play in the upcoming warm-up matches against South Africa (on October 17) and India (October 19).
Stead added, “For us, it’s managing guys’ physical and mental state leading into this first game. We’ll use the two warm-up games in all likelihood to play all members of the squad. Except obviously Daryl right now. Just sharing a bit of the workload around and making sure guys are ready for that first game.”