Daryl Mitchell will miss the second Test against South Africa and the three-match T20I series against Australia to get himself fit for the two-Test series against Pat Cummins and his men, starting on February 29.
Mitchell played in New Zealand's crushing 281-run win in the first Test against the touring Proteas, but will miss the second match, which starts Tuesday, with a persistent foot problem. The middle-order batter needs more treatment for a foot injury that sidelined him for the home T20I series win over Pakistan in January.
"Daryl is a hugely important member of the squad in all three formats and ensuring he is in the best shape is vital with the period of matches to come. Based on the schedule ahead, we feel now is an appropriate time for Daryl to complete a period of rehabilitation,” said head coach Gary Stead.
Seamer Will O'Rourke will join the squad as planned for the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton. However, the Black Caps could replace Mitchell with Will Young who is already part of the squad.
Meanwhile, Kane Williamson will also miss the T20I series against Australia, starting on February 21, while Trent Boult could make a comeback. "Kane's wife is pregnant at the moment, so I think through the T20s it's unlikely he will be around as well," said Stead.
"Trent's available if we want to select him - him and I are still having conversations, but from a selection point of view, we're going through that at the moment and hopeful in the next couple of days we can nail down what that looks like."
A second win for New Zealand would seal a first-ever Test series win over South Africa after 17 failed attempts against the Proteas since 1931.
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