Injury blow for Australia after Eden Park thrashing

By David Leggat

James Faulkner has been ruled out of the rest of the ODI series. Photo / Getty
James Faulkner has been ruled out of the rest of the ODI series. Photo / Getty

Injury was heaped upon insult for Australia after their 159-run flogging by New Zealand at Eden Park last night.

Leading limited-overs allrounder James Faulkner will fly home today after injuring his right hamstring in the defeat, which gave New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee ODI series.

Depending on how long his recovery takes, it could in turn hinder Australia's hopes in the world T20 tournament in India next month.

Victorian Marcus Stoinis will join the Australian squad in Wellington for game two on Saturday. A 26-year-old allrounder, he has played one ODI and one T20 international, last year.

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"Unfortunately, with the short turnaround between games we do not believe he will recover in time to take any further part in the series," said Australia's team doctor Alex Kountouris.

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"As a result, he will return to Melbourne to have scans and start rehabilitation.
"We are hopeful this is only a low grade injury but will know more in the coming days."
Faulkner is among Australia's best lower-order hitters and a clever left arm medium pacer.

It was just the news Australia didn't need after slumping to 41 for six last night, handing New Zealand their biggest ODI win on Eden Park in terms of run margin, and second best against Australia, behind the 1986 match in Adelaide when they rolled the Aussies for 70 and won by 206 runs.

Faulkner took two wickets, one with a sharp return catch to remove Adam Milne, and hit a brisk 36, second top score in Australia's dismal total of 148 in just 24.2 overs last night. The 146 balls Australia's batsmen lasted is the lowest in their ODI history.

Australian captain Steve Smith was bang on after the match when he said his batsmen needed to be more patient as they adjusted to New Zealand conditions.

There was an air of general impatience as they set about chasing down New Zealand's 307 for eight.

Smith himself drove at a wideish ball from Matt Henry and dragged it onto his stumps; Glenn Maxwell, with his team a parlous 40 for four, aimed a lavish drive at Trent Boult second ball and was spectacularly caught at deep extra cover one-handed by Kane Williamson; while George Bailey, dropped by Corey Anderson at short mid wicket, repeated the shot two balls later and Anderson gratefully grabbed his second opportunity having laboured 10 balls over two.

Expect the in-form, but unwanted Usman Khawaja to get his chance at Wellington, most likely at the expense of in-and-out fellow lefthander Shaun Marsh.




- NZ Herald

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