Aaron Hardie ruled out of T20I series against New Zealand, replacement announced

Aaron Hardie is ruled out of the T20I series against NZ

Aaron Hardie, who was selected for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand As a replacement for Marcus Stoinis, he himself has now been ruled out of the series due to a minor calf problem. He has been replaced by pacer Spencer Johnson in the team. The T20I series between Australia and New Zealand is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, February 21 and the first T20I of the three-match series will be played at the Sky Stadium in Wellington.

Aaron Hardie was not initially included in the team and was announced as a replacement for all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who was ruled out of the series due to a back injury. Hardie was playing in Western Australia’s Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania in Hobart and experienced some tightness in his calf while bowling on Day 2 of the four-day game, after which he was sent for some scans. He was due to fly to Wellington on Monday but has now been ruled out of the series.

Initial scans did not reveal any major damage, but he was sidelined on the third day as a precaution and was also withdrawn from the T20I series against New Zealand. Western Australia coach Adam Voges confirmed he will be available to bat on the final day if required. “Your calf is tight, It is more precautionary. Will bat if necessary tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s nothing too significant.” said Adam Voges.

Australia and New Zealand tasted victory in their last T20I series as Australia won the T20I series 2-1 and New Zealand thrashed Pakistan 4-1 in the five-match T20 series. Now these two teams will face each other in a three-match T20I series starting on Wednesday, February 21. The two sides will also lock horns in a two-match Test series after the conclusion of the T20I series.

Spencer Johnson set to replace Aaron Hardie in T20I squad for Australia

Cricket Australia confirmed that Spencer Johnson has been recalled to the squad immediately to replace Aaron Hardie in the squad. Spencer Johnson was also a member of the three-match T20I series against the West Indies and took three wickets in two games but was a bit expensive in both games. He is a tall, strong left-arm pacer and has an excellent track record in the BBL and Hundred, where he represents Brisbane Heat and Oval Invincibles respectively.

Aaron Hardie, on the other hand, will continue his game against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield and will bat on Day 4 if required. He led Perth Scorchers in the absence of Ashton Turner for most of the match. BBL this season and led them to the Playoffs, but were defeated by Adelaide Strikers in the Playoffs. Aaron Hardie is a reliable all-rounder and was a like-for-like replacement for Marcus Stoinis.

Australia will also miss the service of their vice-captain and goalkeeper Matthew Wade, who stayed in Hobart for the birth of his first child. However, he will be available for the second and third T20I of the series. Australia will be led by Mitchell Marsh, while Kane Williamson is expected to lead the team.