Black Caps batter Daryl Mitchell will sit out the second Test with South Africa next week to be fit for the looming home series against world champions Australia, New Zealand Cricket said Thursday.
Mitchell played in New Zealand’s crushing 281-run win in the first Test against the touring Proteas on Wednesday, but will miss the second match, which starts Tuesday, with a persistent foot problem.
The 32-year-old, who has hit five centuries in 31 Tests, will also miss all three Twenty20 games against Australia this month ahead of the home two-Test series with the touring world champions starting February 29.
The middle-order batter needs more treatment for a foot injury that sidelined him for the home Twenty20 series win over Pakistan in January, New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.
“Daryl is a hugely important member of the squad in all three formats and ensuring he is in the best shape is vital with the period of matches to come,” said Black Caps head coach Gary Stead.
“Based on the schedule ahead, now is an appropriate time to complete a period of rehabilitation.”
Seamer Will O’Rourke will join the squad as planned for the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton.
New Zealand batter Kane Williamson cemented his place as the world’s top-ranked male batter with centuries in each innings against the Proteas.
A second win for New Zealand would seal a first-ever Test series win over South Africa after 17 failed attempts against the Proteas since 1931.