New Zealand's ace pacer Tim Southee will be in race against time to get fit for the upcoming World Cup in India. He is set to undergo surgery for his right thumb after breaking the bone while fielding in the fourth ODI against England at Lord's last week. He had then returned home to consult specialists who suggested him to go under the knife.
However, he is still in contention to make it to the World Cup and a call on the same is likely to be taken next week. New Zealand are scheduled to play the opening game of the mega event on October 5 against the defending champions England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Head coach Gary Stead is hopeful of Tim Southee getting fit but also conceded that it will depend on the cricketer in terms ofhow much pain he can bear. "We've got our fingers crossed that the surgery goes well for Tim. He'll have some pins or screws inserted in his right thumb and, providing the procedure is a success, it will be a matter of ensuring Tim can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when returning to train and play.
"Our opening game of the World Cup against England is not until Thursday October 5 in Ahmedabad, so that would be our logical target in terms of his availability. Tim's obviously a hugely experienced and important figure in our team and we want to give him every chance to be part of this World Cup campaign," Stead said accordig to New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in a release.
The Kiwis will also play a couple of warm-up matches against Pakistan (September 29) and South Africa (October 2) before their first match at the World Cup.