26 Feb 2024

Black Caps have to park T20 sweep as quickly as possible

8:46 am on 26 February 2024
Black Caps coach Gary Stead and test captain Tim Southee.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead and test captain Tim Southee. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Black Caps have to quickly park the T20 series clean sweep by Australia and prepare for the two tests.

The Australians completed a 3-nil series win with a 27-run victory in a rain-shortened final T20 in Auckland on Sunday.

New Zealand now has three days before the start of the first test at the Basin Reserve and they have some injuries to overcome.

Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell both missed the T20 series and are set to return for the tests.

Williamson was on parental leave, while Mitchell was recovering from a foot injury.

However, Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra both picked up injuries against Australia and are in a race to be ready for Thursday.

Opener Conway was hit on a thumb, while all-rounder Ravindra has some knee soreness.

While Conway didn't fracture his thumb, his injury is of most concern and will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness.... if he doesn't recover in time, he'll be replaced by Will Young.

However coach Gary Stead is optimistic.

"We're hopeful that he will be available for it, we'll know more tomorrow or Wednesday when he's back in the nets, Stead told RNZ.

"I'm pretty sure he'll be okay as long as he can manage the pain."

Pace bowler Matt Henry also sat out the T20 series with a hip problem.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson evades a bouncer

New Zealand's Kane Williamson evades a bouncer Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Mitchell Santner, who captain the side in Williamson's absence, admits there is little time to dwell on the last three games.

"Yes this series didn't go well, but the guys will have to park that pretty quickly and move onto the tests," Santner said.

However he said the just completed series will be beneficial for them going to the World Cup in the Caribbean later this year.

"It showed when you come up against really good sides that if you're a little bit off you get found out and that's what we did at times."

Santner missed the second test against South Africa and was asked about him playing at the Basin and Hagley Oval, especially as his Australian counterpart Nathan Lyon is a regular in their test team.

"Traditionally it's usually been quite green in both places.

"Lyon can probably spin it on glass so can probably bowl on those as well.

"I think we've seen the last couple of years the Basin slow down a little bit while Hagley is generally quick and bouncy."

New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O'Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc