Australia has suffered injury upon indignity with World Cup Final hero James Faulkner sustaining a hamstring injury that will see him take no further part in the current Chappell-Hadlee Trophy Series which New Zealand now leads 1-0.
Faulkner, one of only two batsmen (along with Matthew Wade) to reach 30 in Australia's hefty 159-run loss to the Black Caps in the first game of the three-match series today, sustained the injury during New Zealand's innings although the severity won't be known until scans are undertaken.
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He will return to Australia tomorrow to begin his rehabilitation and will be replaced in the 14-man squad by Victorian allrounder Marcus Stoinis, who will be plucked from the Bushrangers' Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at the MCG. Fellow allrounder Ian Holland will debut for the Bushrangers in Stoinis's stead.
"James reported increased stiffness in his right hamstring during the first innings tonight and found it difficult running during our batting innings," Cricket Australia's Sports Science and Sport Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris said tonight.
"Unfortunately, with the short turnaround between games we do not believe he will recover in time to take any further part in the series.
"As a result, he will return to Melbourne tomorrow to have scans and start rehabilitation.
"We are hopeful this is only a low-grade injury but will know more in the coming days."
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Faulkner, who also captured two wickets as the Black Caps piled on 8-307 at Eden Park today, joins Mitchell Starc (foot and ankle surgery), Pat Cummins (back), Nathan Coulter-Nile (shoulder), Aaron Finch (hamstring) and coach Darren Lehmann (deep vein thrombosis) as absentees from a full-strength ODI squad.
Man of the match in his team's World Cup triumph over New Zealand at the MCG last March, Faulkner was playing his 50th ODI for Australia in Auckland today which made him – along with fellow all-rounder Mitchell Marsh – the most experienced members of a revamped bowling attack.
Given that auxiliary seamer Scott Boland has played just four ODIs, leg spinner Adam Zampa remains uncapped and 26-year-old Stoinis made his only 50-over appearance for Australia in England last September, the world champions face a tough task to win the final two matches of the Chappell Hadlee Series.
"It's unfortunate that James has suffered this injury but the situation presents another good opportunity for Marcus Stoinis," chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said tonight.
"He is a promising young all-rounder who had a taste of international cricket last winter in England, and hopefully this call-up will continue with his development."