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News

Morris suffers side strain, in doubt for New Zealand Tests

Three balls into his fifth over, he felt pain in his left side and immediately headed off the ground

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
06-Feb-2024
Lance Morris suffered a side strain after taking his first two ODI wickets  •  Getty Images

Lance Morris suffered a side strain after taking his first two ODI wickets  •  Getty Images

Australia quick Lance Morris suffered a left side strain during the third ODI against West Indies in Canberra, leaving him in doubt to tour New Zealand with the Test squad later this month.
Morris had taken his first two ODI wickets in a fiery spell to leave West Indies in tatters, before they were eventually bowled out for 86. But three balls into the fifth over of his first spell, having claimed 2 for 13 with a maiden, he felt pain in his left side, and immediately grabbed his cap and headed off the ground to get assessed.
Cricket Australia confirmed shortly after that Morris had suffered a left side strain, and would head for a scan at some stage to determine the extent of the injury.
"He just said he had a bit of pain in the side and was struggling a bit, so he'll get a scan in the next 12 to 24 hours and we'll know more then," captain Steven Smith said. "He was probably a little bit nervous the other day making his debut, but he was starting to get some nice rhythm.
"He's been great around the group, for over a year now he's been there or thereabouts and it's great to see him get a couple of games in."
It leaves Morris in doubt for the two Tests against New Zealand, the first of which starts in Wellington on February 29, although there was a chance Morris would not be required despite travelling with the Test team through the early part of the Australian summer.
Morris is yet to make his Test debut but was carefully managed through the early part of the home season to be fit for the Pakistan Test series. However, he was not required to play, as Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood played all five Tests against both Pakistan and West Indies without issue.
Morris' injury comes after Australia's other back-up Test paceman Scott Boland suffered knee soreness during Victoria's Sheffield Shield match against South Australia at the Junction Oval in Melbourne this week, although he was able to bowl in the second innings after getting assessed.
Australia are expected to name their Test squad for the New Zealand series later this week.

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo