Mitchell Santner will not be able to play for Chennai Super Kings in the upcoming IPL as he suffered a knee injury, the New Zealand team said on Wednesday. The spinner has also been ruled out of the upcoming England Test series and will not play in the first ever Day Night Test in New Zealand.
New Zealand all-rounder faced some discomfort during the limited overs matches against the English team and he had a scan which pointed out a bone defect. The doctors suggested more scans which revealed the seriousness of the situation and need for the surgery which will keep him out for between six and nine months.
“On a personal level everyone feels for Mitchell,” New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said quoted by Reuters.
“He’s a popular guy in the changing room and he’s well respected for the work he puts in for the side. Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we’ll certainly miss him in the upcoming series.
“It’s important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us.”
Because of the injury, Santner will not be able to join the Chennai based franchise for the T20 league and will also miss his first county season with Derbyshire.For the Test series, which is scheduled to starts on March 22 in Auckland, leg-spinner Todd Astle will join the squad as his replacement.
“Having another spin bowling all-rounder in Todd is of real benefit for us and he’ll be looking forward to his opportunity,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said.
“Being involved in the first day-night test in New Zealand is really exciting and there’s always something special about playing England. They have match winners throughout their squad so we expect a challenging series.”
Regular wicketkeeper BJ Watling is also waiting in the wings ready to make a comeback as he recovered from a hip injury. To reclaim his fitness, Watling had played several games for his first-class side where he performed as a batsman. In his absence, Tom Blundell had joined the team and scored a century on his debut against Windies last December but now he dropped from the squad.
“BJ is a proven performer at test level for us and brings a lot to the group both on and off the field. We’ve monitored BJ’s progress over the past few months and it’s great to see him back with the gloves for Northern Districts,” Larsen added.
“Tom Blundell did a great job in BJ’s absence and we’ll keep working with him going forward.”
New Zealand Test squad: