Doug Bracewell has been ruled out of New Zealand's first two ODIs against Pakistan with a hamstring problem. The 27-year-old fast bowler had only just returned from a hiatus of nearly a year in the recently concluded series against West Indies, playing five out of six limited-overs matches to pick up six wickets. On Wednesday, though, he hurt his right leg in the field and will now undergo medical assessment to determine his recovery.
Opening batsman George Worker has been called up as replacement. He struck back-to-back ODI fifties against West Indies and has also played well for the Central Stags in the ongoing Super Smash T20 tournament. Having hit 75 off only 38 balls, and coupling that with a wicket as well, the 28-year-old will join the national squad in Wellington on Friday.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson sympathised with Bracewell, considering the fast bowler had battled a difficult knee-injury over the previous season. "Doug's worked really hard to make it back into the side after a pretty serious injury last year and he's impressed in the opportunities he's had. We know he's a hard trainer and back him to rehab well and be available for selection in the not too distant future."
Colin de Grandhomme, who took time off after the death of his father, is expected to be back in action for Auckland from Sunday. Hesson hoped the 31-year old allrounder would then be available for the final three ODIs of the Pakistan series, the squad for which is yet to be picked. The first out of five ODIs will be played on January 6 at the Basin Reserve.