Daryl Mitchell could miss the T20 World Cup 2022 opener against Australia
Daryl Mitchell (Source: Twitter)
New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell is doubtful for the T20 World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday (October 22) in Sydney.
Earlier this month, Mitchell sustained a fracture on his little finger in the nets ahead of the Tri-series involving New Zealand, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The injury resulted in him getting ruled out of the series, and Dane Cleaver was named as his replacement.
Mitchell has emerged as a key player for the Kiwis in the recent years across all formats. The 31-year-old slammed an unbeaten 72 off 47 against England in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2021 to take the team to the final.
In the recent three-match Test series against England, he was the top-scorer with 538 runs in six innings, comprising three centuries. Also, the experienced batter has garnered 301 runs in 13 T20Is at a strike rate of 144.71 since the last edition of the T20 World Cup.
NZ coach Gary Stead confirmed the unavailability of Mitchell for the first game but was optimistic about him returning to action against Afghanistan on October 26.
"Daryl would have been in our first XI so I think in all likelihood he is unlikely to be available for that first game. It is more likely the second game is what we are targeting at this stage," said Stead.
Stead added that final call on Mitchell's replacement will be announced after they have assessed the conditions in Sydney. He also added that the management will be careful of player's workload, ahead of the World Cup.
New Zealand are set to play two warm-up matches against South Africa and India on Monday and Wednesday respectively.