New Zealand allrounder Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the first Test against Pakistan after fracturing his right wrist while training for a domestic game. He was struck on the wrist while at practice for Northern Districts, ahead of their Plunket Shield - New Zealand's domestic first-class tournament - game against Canterbury.
In a release, New Zealand Cricket said an x-ray revealed the fracture, which also put him in doubt for the second Test. The two-Test series begins in Christchurch on November 17, with the second match due to begin on November 25 in Hamilton.
"After such a strong tour of India, it's really disappointing for Mitch to pick up this injury ahead of the first match of the home summer," coach Mike Hesson said. "We're unsure whether Mitch will be available for the second Test at this stage, but we'll be monitoring his recovery closely and look forward to having him back."
Santner's left-arm spin had proved to be very effective during the three-Test series in India. He finished the visitors' joint-highest wicket-taker with fast bowler Trent Boult, taking 10 wickets in a series which they lost 3-0. Following the closely-contested ODIs, which they lost 3-2, where Santner was the most economical of New Zealand's bowlers, captain Kane Williamson tagged him the standout performer of the tour.
"He has been outstanding. Although conditions are favourable to spinners here there are a lot of spinners who come here and struggle," Williamson had said. "Mitch has performed day in and day out. His change of pace and his ability to spin the ball was a great asset to have. Not to mention his batting and his fielding as well."
New Zealand have yet to name their squad for the Pakistan series.