Hesson hopeful of Milne’s fitness for World Cup quarterfinal
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne has overcome a shoulder injury and is available for the team’s Cricket World Cup quarterfinal against the West Indies on Saturday.
Milne missed New Zealand’s final pool match against Bangladesh after suffering the injury in its previous match against Afghanistan, causing the only change to the lineup that won all its six matches in Pool A.
The 22-year-old Milne, who is New Zealand’s quickest bowler, was able to take part in a net training session on Tuesday and coach Mike Hesson said he was “fully fit” ahead of Saturday’s match.
Mitchell McClenaghan, who played against Bangladesh in Milne’s place, had figures of 0-68 from eight overs which make it likely Milne will return to a full-strength New Zealand XI.
While he has taken only four wickets at a cost of 157 runs at the tournament so far, Milne is seen to provide useful support as a third seamer behind the new ball pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Hesson said his omission from the Bangladesh match was a necessary precaution.
“Shoulders react a little bit differently,” Hesson said. “They stiffen up and when you’ve got a guy trying to bowl 150kmh you can’t really afford anyone to be stiff and sore.
“We showed some caution there but he’s fully fit to take a part in training and we’ll see how that goes.”
New Zealand delayed its training Tuesday because of rain, deciding not to go indoors but to wait for the chance later in the day to train outdoors, in cold conditions, at the Basin Reserve.
The West Indies were allowed a day off from training after qualifying for the quarterfinals with a win over the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. Opening batsman Chris Gayle, who missed that match with a back injury, is thought likely to be fit to play in Saturday’s match.