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Injury rules Southee out of India Tests

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/09/2016

New Zealand have lost the services of Tim Southee for the Test series in India after the pace bowler suffered an ankle injury.

Southee felt pain in his left ankle while bowling in the nets this week and a scan showed a grade two ligament strain.

He will return home to recover and won't play in the three-Test series starting in Kanpur on Thursday.

His place is taken by four-Test seamer Matt Henry.

Coach Mike Hesson says Southee should improve quickly with rest and may well be available for the five one-day internationals in India starting in mid-October.

"Tim has been working hard in preparation for this tour, so he's understandably very disappointed to be ruled out of all three Tests," Hesson said.

"The focus now is for Tim to give his ankle seven-10 days rest, before slowly building his bowling loads back up."

Southee, 27, has been a key contributor with his swing bowling throughout a 52-Test career, taking 177 wickets at 32.6 and forming an effective new ball combination with Trent Boult.

His recent form has dropped away, having taken just 14 wickets in his six Tests in 2016.

Henry may struggle for selection in Indian conditions which are expected to favour spin bowling.

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