Sydney: New Zealand batsman Tom Latham, who sustained a fracture to his right little finger during the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, will be out of action for a month, which effectively rules him out of the three-match T20I series against Virat Kohli's India at home later this month.
Latham sustained the injury on the fourth day at the SCG, when he took the catch to
dismiss Marnus Labuschagne that prompted Australia's declaration. He subsequently
came out to open the innings during New Zealand's unsuccessful chase of 416, which
ended in a 279-run defeat and a 3-0 whitewash, but was trapped lbw by Mitchell Starc
The injury means that Latham will be unavailable for the India T20Is, which run from January 24 to February 2. He will now aim for a return during the three one-day internationals that follow.
Latham is the latest in a long line of New Zealand players to have been struck down by injury or illness during the Australia tour. Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson sustained a calf strain on the opening day of the series opener in Perth, while Trent Boult fractured his hand while facing up to Mitchell Starc at the MCG and Matt Henry broke his finger when he was pinged by a Joe Burns drive in Sydney, an ICC report on Wednesday said.
Providing an update on their conditions, head coach Gary Stead said, "Lockie Ferguson has returned to running and performing bowling drills. He'll continue to progress over the next couple of weeks, with the potential to return to domestic cricket early next month."
"Trent Boult has been resting his broken right hand and will return to bowling later this week. He'll be touch-and-go to be available for the Indian T20 series later this month and we'll continue to monitor him closely over the next few weeks," he said.
"Matt Henry has had his broken left thumb splinted and will require around a month for it to fully heal. In this time, he will still be able to practise bowling and will look at a return to play early next month," Stead added.
Meanwhile, Kane Williamson, in whose absence Latham stood in as captain at the SCG, Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner, who were all afflicted by illness, are still in the process of returning to full health.
"Kane, Henry and Mitch are regaining their health after being struck down with Influenza A,"
Stead said, "and will continue be monitored as they slowly rebuild their strength and fitness."(UNI)