Knee injury may force Oram out of series

Jacob Oram is helped from the field after hurting his left knee Getty Images

New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram is in doubt for the remainder of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series after sustaining a knee injury in the first ODI. Oram sent down seven overs, taking the key wicket of Shane Watson, before he twisted his left knee in the 28th over while fielding a single off Michael Hussey. His spikes appeared to stick in the turf as he fell to the ground, writhing in pain, and he was carried off by team-mates Tim Southee and James Franklin.

"His knee is painful, it's still unclear what it is...there will be further investigation in Auckland tomorrow and we'll assess after that," Dave Currie, New Zealand's manager, said. "It's pretty painful at the moment so we'll have to wait and see."

Currie said no replacement had yet been made but fast bowler Ian Butler was a likely call-up. If there is ligament damage, not only will Oram miss the series but his participation in the upcoming IPL with Chennai Super Kings is in doubt as well.

Oram, 31, retired from Test cricket in October after injury worries, involving his back and foot, limited him to 33 appearances over a seven-year career. In the two Twenty20s against Australia before Wednesday's game he scored 1 and 0 and conceded 67 off six overs. Even as there were calls for him to be excluded from the ODI series opener against Australia in Napier, he found support from captain Daniel Vettori.

The good news, though, for New Zealand is that Vettori, who was ruled out of the match in Napier due to a neck injury, is expected to back for the second game of the five-match series on Saturday.

"His neck had a kink in it yesterday but he thought he would be all right," Currie said. "Even warming up today he thought he would be all right but he wasn't and there was no point taking any risk on it. He is fully expected to be back next game."

Ross Taylor enjoyed immediate success as new captain as New Zealand won a tense series opener by two wickets.