NZ vs AUS: Ben Sears called in to replace Will O’Rourke, Devon Conway to go under the knife
NZ vs AUS: Ben Sears called in to replace Will O’Rourke, Devon Conway to go under the knife. Photo Getty Images.

New Zealand pace-bowler Will O’Rourke has been ruled out of this week’s second Tegel Test against Australia in Christchurch after scans revealed a left hamstring strain.

O’Rourke sustained the injury while bowling on day three of the first Test in Wellington and will require at least two weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

Uncapped Wellington Firebirds pace-bowler Ben Sears will replace O’Rourke in the 13-man squad and will join the team in Christchurch on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old has 58 First-Class wickets from his 19 appearances at an average of 27.

BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said Sears was ready for Test cricket.

“Ben’s a young bowler with a quality skill set,” he said.

“He bowls with genuine pace and gets good bounce which is always a great asset in red ball cricket.

“We’ve been really impressed by his performances for the BLACKCAPS in white ball cricket this summer and believe he can make the step up to the Test arena if called upon.

“It’s disappointing for Will to be ruled out, especially after making such a strong start to his international career.

“He’s shown he’s a player with huge potential and at 22-years-old we’re hopeful we will see a lot more of him in the Black Cap.”

Neil Wagner has been released from the squad as planned, ahead of the team reassembling in Christchurch on Tuesday.

The second Tegel Test against Australia starts on Thursday at Hagley Oval

Conway set for surgery | Nicholls to stay on for second Test

BLACKCAPS opener Devon Conway will this week undergo surgery on the left thumb he damaged during the KFC T20I series against Australia.

Following several scans and specialist advice, the decision was made to operate on Conway with a likely recovery period of at least eight weeks.

Canterbury batter Henry Nicholls who was called in as cover for the first Tegel Test will stay with the squad for the second Test.

BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead wished Conway a speedy recovery.

“We’re all feeling for Devon,” he said.

“He’s a massive part of the BLACKCAPS and we’re going to miss his presence both on and off the field.

“We wish him all the best for his surgery and we will be there to support him as he begins his recovery.”