Cricket: Ben Sears added to Blackcaps squad for second test against Australia, Will O'Rourke ruled out

Ben Sears against Australia.
Ben Sears against Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

Fast bowler Ben Sears has been called into the Blackcaps' squad for the second test against Australia after Will O'Rourke was ruled out by a hamstring strain.

Sears, 26, is in line to make his test debut and will join the rest of the New Zealand side on Tuesday as they prepare to face Australia at Hagley Oval.

So far, Sears has played 13 Twenty20 Internationals for New Zealand, and taken 16 wickets at an average of just over 20.

In first-class cricket, his 19 matches for Wellington have yielded 58 wickets at just over 27.

Most importantly, though, Sears is one of few bowlers in New Zealand capable of hitting speeds in the high 140kph range, which has been a vital contributor to his selection.

"He bowls with genuine pace and gets good bounce which is always a great asset in red ball cricket," said coach Gary Stead.

"We've been really impressed by his performances for the Blackcaps in white ball cricket this summer and believe he can make the step up to the Test arena if called upon."

Sears' inclusion also comes as Neil Wagner has been released, following his retirement before the first test defeat at the Basin Reserve last week.

Elsewhere, Devon Conway has been ruled out of the second test and will undergo surgery on his injured thumb.

The 32-year-old sustained the injury keeping wicket in the T20 series defeat to Australia and was hopeful of being fit for the test series.

But the injury has not recovered in time, and Conway will go under the knife.

Henry Nicholls will remain with the squad as batting cover, with Will Young likely to continue opening the batting in Conway's place.