Hamilton [New Zealand], February 12: New Zealand skipper Tim Southee hinted that uncapped pacer William O'Rourke could feature in the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton which will begin on Tuesday. The Kiwis took a lead in the two-match Test series following their 287-run victory in Mount Maunganui. New Zealand stuck with their usual four-pace options, Southee, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell and Kyle Jamieson. IND vs AUS ICC U19 World Cup 2024: Played a Few Rash Shots, Couldn't Execute Well, Says India Captain Uday Saharan After Losing Final Against Australia.
Hamilton's surface promises to provide more bounce and seam for the speedsters. But Mitchell's injury ruled him out of the second Test which has left a spot vacant for experienced pacer Neil Wagner and O'Rourke. "He's (O'Rourke) in the 13. Neil's been around the group as well and been a great performer for us for a long period of time. It's great to have those decisions to be made. Will's an exciting talent and has had a little taste of international cricket, and I'm sure he has a bright future in the highest level as well," Southee said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo.
O'Rourke made his international debut for the Blackcaps in the ODI format against Bangladesh in December last year and scalped five in three matches. Southee feels that the 22-year-old attributes make him similar to star pacer Kyle Jamieson. "His strengths are obviously his height and ability to extract bounce. Being a big, tall guy he's not too dissimilar to KJ [Jamieson]. He's got skills with the ball as well. He's got the tools to be a very good bowler and someone who I'm sure will thrive at this level. Will's probably played a bit more cricket than I had. He's got a great head on his shoulders," Southee said.
"He's a pretty mature guy from what I've seen of him. He's had a little taste already, so he knows what to expect, but you just enjoy it and stick to what you've done that's got you here," Southee added. Wagner on the other hand made his last appearance for New Zealand in red ball cricket in Christchurch against Sri Lanka. He has made 63 Tests and bagged 258 wickets.
"It's not just Neil, it's any guy who misses out, it's not a nice place to be. You want to be out there, representing your country, but the reality is it's professional sport, and there's only 11 guys that can go out and play the game. Usually, Gary [Stead] will break the news and then I'll follow up with a bit of chat as well. It's not the nicest part of the job, but the guys are pretty understanding," Southee said.
Along with this, Southee went on to confirm that Will Young will come in place of Mitchell to provide the batting cover but the bowling line-up still needs to be decided. "We will have another look tomorrow, but with Daryl Mitchell not being here, Will Young will slip into the middle order. We'll decide on the final make-up of the bowling attack in the morning, after one final look at the wicket. You look at the balance you need across the five days and make a decision according to that," Southee concluded.
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