New Zealand have announced to add batting all-rounder Daryl Mitchell to their Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against India as a replacement for injured Devon Conway.
Earlier, Conway was ruled out of the just concluded T20 World Cup final and the subsequent three-match T20I series against hosts India after he broke his hand during New Zealand’s semifinal win against England.
Significantly, Conway struck the bat with his hand after he was dismissed following which scans confirmed a break in his right-hand fifth Metacarpal.
“It’s a shame for Devon to miss out on the first series of the new World Test Championship cycle, but it also offers up an opportunity for someone else,” Stead said.
Conway had played six games in the T20 World Cup, amassing 129 runs at a strike rate of 108.40 for his team New Zealand, which had finished second in Group 2.
“Daryl’s versatility means he can cover a lot of batting positions and he’s certainly got plenty of confidence at the moment. He’s proven he can perform in Test cricket and I know he’s excited to rejoin the Test group,” he added.
Earlier commenting on Conway’s injury, Stead had said: “He’s absolutely gutted to be ruled out like this at this time. Devon is hugely passionate about playing for the BLACKCAPS and no one is more disappointed at the moment than he is – so we’re really trying to rally around him. It looked a pretty innocuous reactionary incident on the field, but the blow obviously caught the bat between the glove padding and while it’s not the smartest thing he’s done there’s certainly an element of bad luck in the injury.”
“Devon is a great team-man and a very popular member of the side so we’re all feeling for him. He’s determined to support the team in anyway he can for the remainder of the tour before he returns home to recover. Due to the timelines we won’t be bringing in a replacement player for this World Cup or next week’s T20 series against India, but are working through our options for the Test series later this month,” he had added.
Mitchell, 30, has been in good form in the recent past off late and was also named as the Man of the Match in the T20 World Cup semifinal against England, which the Kane Williamson-led side won by five wickets.
Mitchell has amassed 208 runs from seven games in the showpiece evnent while batting at the top of the order.
He has featured in just five Tests so far in his career after making his debut against England at Seddon Park on Novemebr 2019. The 30-year-old has accumulated 232 runs from five innings in the longest format of the game with a decent average of 58. He also has one century and a half-century to his name in Test cricket.
After losing the 2021 T20 World Cup final to Australia by eight wickets on Sunday, New Zealand will travel to India directly from the UAE.
New Zealand will play three T20Is matches on November 17, 19 and 21 at Jaipur, Ranchi and Kolkata respectively against the hosts before facing them in a two-Test series, starting November 25 in Kanpur and December 3 in Mumbai respectively.