The New Zealand test captain Tim Southee has dropped a major hint on the Test debut of the uncapped player ahead of the second test in the home tour.
Southee hints on O’Rourke’s Test debut
Tim Southee has indicated that Willaim O’Rourke has a good chance to make his Test debut on the second test on Tuesday at Hamilton. He was part of the New Zealand squad which is scheduled to play against South Africa Test series.
He was not included in the squad for the first Test. During the test, New Zealand went with three pacers Southee, Matt Henry, and Kyle Jamieson. Daryl Mitchell was ruled out of the second test and it opened a place for fourth quick pacer. Neil Wagner and O’Rourke have the option to be included in the playing 11.
“He’s in the 13,” said Southee. “Neil’s been around the group as well and been a great performer for us for a long period.”
“It’s great to have those decisions to be made. Will’s an exciting talent and has had a little taste of international cricket, and I’m sure he has a bright future at the highest level as well.”
O’Rourke made his ODI debut against Bangladesh last December. He picked up four wickets in three matches during the tour.
“His strengths are obviously his height and ability to extract bounce,” Southee said. “Being a big, tall guy he’s not too dissimilar to KJ [Jamieson]. He’s got skills with the ball as well. He’s got the tools to be a very good bowler and someone who I’m sure will thrive at this level.”
“Will’s probably played a bit more cricket than I had,” he added. “He’s got a great head on his shoulders.
“He’s a pretty mature guy from what I’ve seen of him. He’s had a little taste already, so he knows what to expect, but you just enjoy it and stick to what you’ve done that’s got you here.”
On the other hand, Wagner made his last test appearance in 2023. He has featured in 63 Tests and taken 258 wickets.
“It’s not just Neil, it’s any guy who misses out, it’s not a nice place to be,” Southee said. “You want to be out there, representing your country, but the reality is it’s professional sport, and there’s only 11 guys that can go out and play the game.
“Usually, Gary [Stead] will break the news and then I’ll follow up with a bit of chat as well. It’s not the nicest part of the job, but the guys are pretty understanding.”
“We will have another look tomorrow, but with Daryl Mitchell not being here, Will Young will slip into the middle order. We’ll decide on the final make-up of the bowling attack in the morning, after one final look at the wicket.
“You look at the balance you need across the five days and make a decision according to that,” he concluded.
New Zealand and South Africa will be playing their final test starting on February 13 at Seddon Park, Hamilton.