Wellington [New Zealand], February 8: New Zealand have suffered a massive blow as Daryl Mitchell will miss out on the second Test against South Africa and the three-match T20I series against Australia due to injury. New Zealand Cricket on Thursday confirmed that the 32-year-old batter would miss out on their upcoming fixtures due to a foot injury. Australia T20I Captain Mitchell Marsh Tests Positive for COVID-19, Set To Play Against West Indies Under Strict Protocols.

Mitchell has been dealing with an ongoing foot complaint and the team management decided that the right-handed batter would miss out on the second Test which will give the injury time to heal. He was rested for the final T20I match against Pakistan in January with the hope that the injury would heal in time but now he is focused on his rehabilitation.

The 32-year-old registered scores of 34 and 11* during New Zealand's thumping 281-run victory in the first Test against the Proteas in Mount Maunganui. Mitchell will also miss out on Kiwis' upcoming T20I series against Australia which will be played later this month in order to regain fitness for the two-match Test series.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said it was important to allow Mitchell some time to rest so he can return to international cricket as soon as possible. "Daryl is a hugely important member of the squad in all three formats and ensuring he is in the best shape is vital with the period of matches to come. Based on the schedule ahead, we feel now is an appropriate time for Daryl to complete a period of rehabilitation," Stead said as quoted from ICC.

New Zealand have not named a replacement for Mitchell as Stead feels that Will Young could come in as a straight swap. He also indicated that the side could be shuffled with Glenn Phillips and Mitchell Santner moving up the order and leaving room for an additional pacer.

"[Will Young] is definitely one of the options," Stead said. "Will's there as back up [and] Glenn Phillips has shown he's more than useful and it could be shaped differently. We are very happy with the squad we have. Daryl's obviously a huge loss, though, he's been instrumental in a number of outstanding batting performances but it's important for him and us that we get this right long term," Stead added.

Veteran batter Kane Williamson is unlikely to be available for the T20I series against Australia as he and his wife are expecting their third child according to ESPNcricinfo. But Stead also proposed the possibility of pacer Trent Boult entering the Blackcaps T20 setup and said, "Trent's available if we want to select him. Him and I are still having conversations...hopefully in the next couple of days to nail down what that looks like." Commentator Left Distracted After Spectator Applies Sunscreen in the Background During Live Telecast of NZ vs SA 1st Test 2024, Video Goes Viral.

New Zealand squad for the 2nd Test: Tim Southee, Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Will O'Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

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