James Neesham, Matt Henry join New Zealand’s long injury list

James Neesham

New Zealand had an excellent start to the ODI World Cup 2023. They won four matches on the trot before suffering three consecutive losses. Their regular captain Kane Williamson played only one game against Bangladesh, where he suffered a thumb fracture, and is yet to make his return. Four other teammates of the talismanic batter have now joined the injury list which is looking quite concerning as the business end of the tournament beckons.

Mark Chapman missed New Zealand’s riveting clash against Australia owing to a calf injury. Lockie Ferguson experienced pain in his right Achilles in the same game and limped off the field after bowling only three overs. Both players couldn’t get fit in time for the Blackcaps’ most recent encounter against South Africa on Wednesday, November 1. The woes were severely amplified for New Zealand as Matt Henry and Jimmy Neesham suffered injuries during their 190-run drubbing against the Proteas in Pune.

Notably, it was mentioned that Henry experienced tightness in his right hamstring while bowling against South Africa. He will undergo an MRI scan in the next 24 hours to ascertain the extent of the injury. Meanwhile, Kyle Jamieson has been called in as cover. Neesham, on the other hand, coped a blow to his right wrist after being hit by a ball while bowling.

“The injury saw Neesham slide down the batting order to number nine, but an X-ray has cleared him of any broken bones,” NZC stated.

During New Zealand’s run-chase against South Africa, Neesham came out to bat at No. 9, two spots below his position from the last game against Australia.

Race for semi-final spot gets stiff as New Zealand suffer another defeat in World Cup

New Zealand have four wins and three losses from seven games and are currently placed at No. 4 on the points table in ODI World Cup 2023. Their heavy defeat to South Africa on Wednesday has opened the door for teams outside the top four to make a claim for semi-finals. The Kiwis have two more games to play in the league phase. One against Pakistan on November 4 and Sri Lanka on November 9. Both these matches will take place in Bengaluru. The string of losses and a plethora of injuries have significantly complicated New Zealand’s pathway to the semis.