Saturday, June 14, 2008

Jacob Oram ruled out for ten days

New Zealand have been struck a major injury blow after Jacob Oram was ruled out for at least ten days with a hamstring strain. He pulled out of the Twenty20 at Old Trafford shortly before the toss after hurting himself in the warm-up.

He was replaced by Peter Fulton for the Twenty20, but the injury means he will miss the first three ODIs, starting with the match at Chester-le-Street on Sunday. His possible return date would be the fourth match at The Oval on June 25.

Oram is crucial to New Zealand's one-day form, his hard-hitting batting providing power to the middle order, while his bowling can strangle the scoring. He is an injury-prone cricketer, and missed the final Test against England in Napier in March, although managed to play throughout the recent series.

They have a few options in the squad to cover for Oram. Tim Southee has been out of the side since the first Test, while Jeetan Patel provides a second spin possibility, but no one can give the all-round balance that Oram provides.

New Zealand have been hit by a few injuries on their tour. Daniel Vettori cut his spinning finger before the Test series, Daniel Flynn lost two teeth after being hit by a bouncer in the Test at Old Trafford, and Brendon McCullum was unable to keep at Trent Bridge due to a bad back.

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