Auckland: In-form New Zealand spearhead Tim Southee suffered a shoulder injury yesterday but team management said he would be fit for Saturday's all-important World Cup game against Australia in Auckland.
Tim Southee. Pic/Atul Kamble
The 26-year-old suffered a nasty blow when struck by a throw from team-mate Adam Milne during fielding practice at Eden Park and fell over in pain, clutching the back of his right shoulder. The fall, and Southee's reaction, received a light-hearted response from his team-mates but the swing bowler sat out the remainder of the team's net session while ice was applied to his shoulder.
However, a New Zealand team spokesman said there were no fears about his involvement in Saturday's match. The co-hosts will hope Southee does not suffer any lingering after-effects and remains fully fit for the much-awaited game between the World Cup co-hosts, which should decide who tops Pool A.
Southee is currently the leading wicket-taker at the tournament with 11 wickets in three games. He took two wickets each of the Black Caps' first two victories, against Sri Lanka and Scotland, before his haul of seven for 33 -- the best-ever one-day international figures by a New Zealander -- played a key role in an eight-wicket thrashing of England in Wellington as the co-hosts made it three wins from as many Pool A matches.
Southee and left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori are the only two bowlers in the New Zealand line-up who played in a six-wicket defeat by Australia when the teams last met for an ODI at Eden Park in 2010.