Despite playing a pivotal role in New Zealand’s resounding 281-run victory in the first Test against South Africa, Mitchell will be absent from the second match due to a persistent foot problem.
The 32-year-old, who boasts an impressive record of five centuries in 31 Tests, will also be unavailable for the three Twenty20 matches against Australia scheduled for this month.
This decision has been made to ensure Mitchell receives adequate treatment for his foot injury, which previously sidelined him during the home Twenty20 series against Pakistan in January.
In a statement, New Zealand Cricket emphasized Mitchell’s importance across all formats and highlighted the necessity of prioritizing his fitness, particularly given the upcoming series against Australia.
Head coach Gary Stead affirmed Mitchell’s significance to the squad and emphasized the importance of his well-being in light of the packed schedule ahead. Stead indicated that the current period presents an opportune time for Mitchell to undergo a rehabilitation program.
In Mitchell’s absence, seamer Will O’Rourke is set to join the squad as planned for the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton.
Meanwhile, New Zealand batter Kane Williamson‘s exceptional performance in the first Test further solidified his status as the world’s top-ranked male batter, with centuries in both innings against South Africa.
A potential second victory for New Zealand in the Test series would mark a historic achievement, securing their first-ever Test series win over South Africa after 17 previous unsuccessful attempts dating back to 1931.
(With inputs from AFP)