New Zealand paceman Tim Southee ruled out of India tests

29-tim-southee-vs-sa, Tim Southee

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of the three-match test series in India with an ankle injury and will be replaced by paceman Matt Henry.

Tim Southee felt pain in his front foot while bowling in training and a scan had shown a ligament strain in his left ankle, New Zealand’s cricket board said.

The 27-year-old, New Zealand’s most experienced test bowler with 52 matches and 177 wickets, will return home for rest and rehab but was expected to be available for the one-day internationals starting mid-October.

“Tim has been working hard in preparation for this tour, so he’s understandably very disappointed to be ruled out of all three tests,” New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.

“The focus now is for Tim to give his ankle seven to 10 days rest, before slowly building his bowling loads back up ahead of the ODI series.

“We’ve got a replacement who is ready to go in Matt Henry and he’ll join the team before the start of the first test.”

The 24-year-old Henry has played just three more tests since his debut against England at Lord’s last year, his last match against Australia in Christchurch in February.

Matt Henry has been drafted in as Tim Southee’s replacement. Henry, 24, has played four Tests for New Zealand since debuting against England at Lord’s in May 2015. His last Test came in February against Australia at Christchurch where he finished with 0 for 134 in a combined 41 overs across both innings of Australia’s seven-wicket win. He was included in New Zealand’s Test squads for the tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa but did not play in any of the four Tests.

The series opener starts in Kanpur on Sept. 22 before further matches in Kolkata and Indore.

New Zealand are bidding to win their first test series in India.

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