O'Connor's Test career suffers another blow, coming home

Lynn McConnell

November 19, 2001

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Shayne O'Connor's tour of Australia is over.

The tall Otago left-armer has improved since injuring the patella tendon in his right knee during the first Test, but not enough to convince the tour selectors that he can make an active contribution to the remainder of the Test tour.

Rest has been ordered as the best way to recuperate from the injury.

The injury and the return home is a blow for O'Connor who has worked hard since last summer to get back into his best form.

Just as he was looking to get a degree of permanence about his Test place he broke down last summer and his return was keenly awaited, especially with the left-arm swing that lent variety to the attack.

Like all of the New Zealand bowlers in the first Test in Brisbane, he looked rusty after being off the scene for so long but there was hope that the exposure in that Test would bring them all up to the mark for the second Test starting on Thursday in Hobart.

However, injury has provided another player with a chance and after Daryl Tuffey's performances in Adelaide against South Australia he was the obvious replacement for Dion Nash who returned home earlier while the third pace bowling spot will be contested between Chris Martin and his fellow Cantabrian Shane Bond, who replaced Nash.

Given his performances in Adelaide and his ability with the bat which will provide further length to the New Zealand order, Bond is likely to be the preferred option.

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