Southee set for surgery, but not out of the World Cup yet

Veteran Kiwi seamer and Test skipper Tim Southee will need to get on the surgery table for the thumb injury he sustained while fielding against England. New Zealand management hasn’t ruled him out of the World Cup yet, as a selection decision will be taken next week.

Southee set for surgery, but not out of the World Cup yet
Photo by Icon Sport

Stead believes Southee can make it to the World Cup

The Blackcaps' head coach Gary Stead is hopeful that his ace pacer can make it to the mega event in India, even if it means playing through the pain barrier. Which is why the team management is holding up any decision for another week. 

“We've got our fingers crossed (that) the surgery goes well for Tim. He'll have some pins or screws inserted in his right thumb and, providing the procedure is a success, it will be a matter of ensuring Tim can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when returning to train and play.

Our opening game of the World Cup against England is not until Thursday, October 5 in Ahmedabad, so that would be our logical target in terms of his availability,” a hopeful-sounding Stead said. 

How important is Southee to the Kiwis’ World Cup hopes?

The right-arm seamer is third in the historical chart of New Zealand’s wicket-takers with 214 ODI wickets. His ability to swing the new ball and take wicket early wickets in tandem with long-term friend Trent Boult will be Vital to the Blakcaps’ chances in the World Cup.

“Tim's obviously a hugely experienced and important figure in our team and we want to give him every chance to be part of this World Cup campaign,” head coach Gary Stead frankly expressed his stance on the star seamer. 

New Zealand to test themselves against Bangladesh

Ahead of the mega event, the Kiwis travel to Bangladesh to face the Tigers in a three-match ODI series. The conditions are very similar to India, and the Blackcaps haven't beaten Bangladesh in their backyard for 13 years; it will be a stern test. 

Both sides have rested several key players and are looking to test the players who are fighting to book a place on the plane to India. Ideally, Gary Stead would have wanted Kane Williamson to play a part in this series to get some game time, but the Kiwi skipper isn’t fully fit yet.

Kane Williamson secures spot in New Zealand’s World Cup 2023 squad

New Zealand ODI squad for Bangladesh tour: Lockie Ferguson (c), Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult. Chad Bowes, Dane Cleaver, Dean Foxcroft, Kyle Jamieson, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young.

Bangladesh Squad: Litton Das (C), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Anamul Haque, Tawhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Tanzim Hasan, Tanzid Hasan, Zakir Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Khaled Ahmed.