Injured Warner ruled out of New Zealand tour

Veteran opening batter to miss Australia's final bilateral T20I before World Cup campaign

David Warner's final bilateral outing for Australia has ended prematurely with the soon-to-be-retired opener to miss the final match of the current T20I series in New Zealand due to groin soreness.

The injury will require a brief recovery period in Australia but is not expected to impact his availability for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League starting next month, nor the upcoming T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA that will be his farewell to international cricket.

Warner was not included in the starting XI for last night's 72-run win over the Black Caps at Eden Park, though team officials claim it was always planned for him to be rested from that game.

It is understood the 37-year-old was at the ground for the match, although he did not appear on the field for Australia’s pre-game discussion that involved all other members of the touring party and didn't undertake 12th man duties during the game.

Prior to the opening match of the three-game series, which Australia leads 2-0 thereby ensuring retention of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, Warner spoke about the abuse he has copped from NZ crowds during past tours, most notably in 2016 when he was subjected to taunts he later described as "derogatory and vulgar".

After he was dismissed for 32 in the opening match at Wellington’s Sky Stadium last Wednesday, Warner was booed by sections of the crowd as he left the field and responded by blowing a kiss in the direction of the grandstand.

Warner's absence opens the door for another opportunity for Steve Smith at the top of the order after he partnered Travis Head in that position in game two on Friday. 

However, with Matt Short also in the squad and a looming Test series starting next week, it remains to be seen how Australia will line up for the third match.

Meanwhile, New Zealand also face multiple changes for the third and final match with wicketkeeper-batter Devon Conway withdrawn with a thumb injury.

Most worryingly for the Black Caps, Conway remains a doubt for next week's two-Test series that begins in Wellington. Conway copped a bruising blow to his left thumb while keeping wickets in the second over of his team's eventual 72-run defeat in Friday night's match.

The 32-year-old has returned home to Wellington and will see a hand specialist to determine the extent of the injury and his potential involvement in the Test battle. 

Conway received medical treatment on the field before handing over his keeping gloves and pads to stand-in Finn Allen and took no further part in the game, with initial scans during the match clearing him of an obvious fracture. 

The Kiwis have recalled Tim Seifert for the third match, who looks certain to come straight into the playing XI for Conway on Sunday. Seifert had been ruled out pre-series with a torn abductor but passed a fitness test in Hamilton this morning and heads to Auckland to join the squad today.

NZ have also called up Otago pace bowler Jacob Duffy as cover with the series already decided and attentions turning to the Test matches. 

NZ coach Gary Stead said today he remained hopeful Conway would be able to take his place at the top of the batting order for the first Test starting at Wellington's Basin Reserve on Thursday, but fellow squad member Will Young is in the frame to open if a change is required.

"There is a little bit of a concern because we're not one hundred per cent sure yet exactly how it's going to respond over the next three or four days," Stead told reporters in Auckland today.

"We've still got a little bit of time, and I think at the end of the day it will come down to pain management and what he can do in that space around making sure he feels comfortable at the crease.

"Last night he had some strange things going in with his thumb, it was clicking a little bit and making some strange things. But at this stage he has been cleared of a break which is great.

"He'll be seeing a hand specialist tomorrow in Wellington and we will find out more then.

"Will (Young) played the last Test and played very well, so we'll look at those options but we're hopeful at this stage that Devon will be there."

Stead is more confident that rising batting star Rachin Ravindra is not in doubt, but the exciting left-hander is unlikely to play in tomorrow's final T20I at Eden Park after suffering soreness in his left knee after the series opener in Wellington last Wednesday, with Chad Bowes added to the NZ squad late today.

"There's not as much concern around Rachin," Stead said. "He does have a little bit of a niggly left knee that still is happening.

"I think it's unlikely he will play tomorrow with the Test matches in mind, but we're very confident he'll progress well to be right for that first Test match."

In further good news for the injury-hit Black Caps who have lost fast bowler Kyle Jamieson to a season-ending stress fracture in his back, fellow quick Matt Henry (hip soreness) and allrounder Daryl Mitchell (foot) are tracking well to be passed fit for the first Test.

And NZ's batting mainstay Kane Williamson, who didn't take his place as skipper for the T20I series due to paternity leave, welcomed a third child with partner Sarah and will rejoin the squad ahead of next week's Test preparations.

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February 21: First T20: Australia won by six wickets with 0 balls to spare

February 23: Second T20: Australia won by 72 runs

February 25: Third T20, Auckland, 11am AEDT

Australia T20 squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Spencer Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

New Zealand T20 squad: Finn Allen, Tim Seifert, Rachin Ravindra, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Mitchell Santner (c), Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, Jacob Duffy, Chad Bowes

February 29 – March 4: First Test, Wellington, 9am AEDT

March 8-12: Second Test, Christchurch, 9am AEDT

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc

New Zealand Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Will O'Rourke, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.