New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has confirmed that all-rounder Daryl Mitchell will travel to Australia this week with the rest of his team-mates ahead of the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. There are still question marks on his fitness because of his hand injury, but Stead has now vowed to take Mitchell with the squad.
Mitchell got his fifth metacarpal (pinkie finger) fractured when batting in the nets at Lincoln ahead of the Kiwis’ tri-series at home against Pakistan and Bangladesh and was ruled out of that home series. His availability for the upcoming event in Australia had been in doubt.
Head coach Gary Stead said Mitchell may not be available for the New Zealand’s opening match at the T20 World Cup against Australia in Sydney on October 22, but they hope to have the 31-year-old back from their second match against Afghanistan on 26th October.
“The good news is we have made a decision about Daryl Mitchell and he will tour with us to the World Cup,” Stead said on Monday.
“When we thought about the value Daryl brings to the team and the likely time frame…we are still hopeful he’ll be right for the first game but probably more realistically the second game.
“There will still be four pool games to go and then hopefully semi-final and final after that. Daryl has showed the value to this team and we feel it was the right decision to make.”
Nearly a year ago, Mitchell was a revelation at the top of the order, thrust into the Blackcaps opening role for the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE. He was a major reason why New Zealand made it all the way to the T20 World Cup final 2021 in Dubai. He was the second highest scorer for the blackcaps as he scored 208 runs in seven innings at an average of 34.66, including an unbeaten 72 from just 47 deliveries to lead New Zealand to a semi-final victory over England.
Blackcaps World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Martin Guptill, Lachlan Ferguson, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Michael Bracewell, Trent Boult, Finn Allen.