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Boult, Southee both ruled out of Hamilton Test, Kuggeleijn called up

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New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult has been ruled out of the third ANZ Test against South Africa in Hamilton after failing to recover fully from his groin injury.

Boult felt pain in the groin region during the first ANZ Test in Dunedin, forcing him to miss the following match in Wellington. New Zealand Selector Gavin Larsen said that while Boult has worked hard to make himself available, it was clear he needed further recovery  time before getting back on the park.

 

“Trent did everything possible to get himself ready for this Test and is extremely disappointed to be missing out,” said Larsen.

“While he has made good progress, after training yesterday we spoke with medical staff and it was agreed that Trent required a little further time to be ready for the demands of Test cricket.

“Scott will come in as cover having consistently finished as one of the top wicket-takers in the Plunket Shield in recent seasons. Not having Trent or Tim available tests the depth of our squad, but we’re confident of the job that Neil and Matt can do for us.”

Lockie Ferguson was not available after suffering an injury in the current round of Plunket Shield.

Earlier today, vice-captain Tim Southee was ruled out of the third Test against South Africa with a hamstring tear.

This is Southee's second injury of the summer. In September, he was ruled out of the three-Test series in India after an ankle ligament strain. He went on to play the four home Tests against Pakistan and Bangladesh, against whom he picked up his 200th Test wicket, before sitting out the first Test against South Africa in Dunedin and being brought back for the second.

New Zealand still have four other seam options: Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, who is yet to play in the series, and all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham for the Test, starting on Saturday.

With the Hamilton pitch likely to remain slow and low, the Kiwis will most likely retain their slow bowling duo of Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner.

Meanwhile, South Africa too have an injury concern of their own with wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock damaging a tendon on his right index finger and could need up to six weeks on the sidelines. A late call will be taken on de Kock's availability on Friday afternoon.

De Kock's injury may prove costly to his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Daredevils, with the 10th edition of the cash-rich T20 tournament starting on April 5.