New Zealand are hoping for a Lockie Ferguson comeback ahead of Bangladesh T20I series, starting on March 28, which will follow the 3-match ODI series from March 20-26.
Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is expected to be fit ahead of the home T20I series against Bangladesh, starting on March 28. The 29-year-old has been out of action since early December when was sidelined ahead of the Pakistan series due to a back injury.
The New Zealand pacer suffered a partial stress fracture to his back and was predicted to be out of auction for 4-6 weeks, but it has been almost 3 months since Lockie last made an appearance. His injury had come to light after the T20I series against West Indies in November last year.
“At this stage, he will meet up with the team around the time of the one-day series to put finishing touches on things and make sure the intensity is where we want it to be then if all goes well he’ll be available for the Bangladesh T20 series,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead told reporters in Wellington.
“You never know how people react to it [the injury], but in Lockie’s advantage he’s strong, he’s fit and he works very hard at that S&C [strength and conditioning] area. Hopefully all those things will have helped him in a quick recovery.”
New Zealand are currently playing Australia at home and are 2-0 ahead in the 5-match T20I series. Even though the hosts have been able to trump their neighbours, the side is missing Lockie as Kyle Jamesion has not impressed in the shortest format as he does in the rest of the formats.
While Kyle Jamieson was bought by RCB in the 2021 IPL auction for Rs 15 crore, Lockie Ferguson was retained by the KKR before the auctions. Besides Lockie and Jamieson, 5 other New Zealand players including skipper Kane Williamson will travel to India in April for the IPL which could pave the way for youngsters like Finn Allen and Mark Chapman.
“We are working through the final stages of that. Don’t think we’ll scrap everyone from it but think there will be cases where we say to some of those guys going away, don’t bother playing this series,” Stead said.
“It’s comforting that we’ve had some pretty good performances from just about all our players and that’s a little bit unusual. Often people get on hot streaks, but it’s the quality of your side as well if someone misses out then the next person can step up. We are in a good position as a team,” he added.