New Zealand bowler hurts foot in 'house party related injury'

Doug Bracewell may miss first Test against England

Doug Bracewell will have to prove his fitness tomorrow for the first Test against England, after suffering a mystery foot injury at home over the weekend.

The Kiwi seamer missed practice at Dunedin's University Oval today, and will have to demonstrate he can bowl without discomfort tomorrow morning to stay in contention to play on Wednesday.

The circumstances of the injury, a gash to his foot, are unclear - with the early unofficial explanation being that he cut himself on a glass while clearing up after a house party.

New Zealand team manager Mike Sandle is still trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

Amid speculation as to exactly when and where the incident took place, he said: "I still need to ascertain the circumstances, but I am disappointed to be stood here today in front of you having to talk about it."

At the suggestion it may yet turn out the consumption of alcohol played its part, he added: "If that is involved I would be disappointed."

England have no such worries as they seek to put Saturday's warm-up defeat in Queenstown behind them.

Steven Finn, rested along with his pace partner James Anderson in the four-day match against a New Zealand XI, is hoping home comforts may prove to his advantage.

Finn played four matches for Otago in late 2011, including one fixture on this same ground - but it is the dramatic change in weather conditions, from the wall-to-wall sunshine so far on tour to strong wind and showers here, which he thinks could suit him most.

"It's a taste of home, I suppose - cold and wet," he said. "We have to adapt to the conditions.

"But I hope if there's a bit of weather around, it will nip around for the seamers."

Finn impressed, off his new shortened run, in the latter stages of England's one-day international series victory over New Zealand last month.

But he has not played red-ball cricket since England's historic Test success in India before Christmas.

He said: "I'm looking forward to getting out there and playing Test match cricket.

"The one-day stuff went well for us here. We really put some good performances together, and people stood up when we needed them to.

"That's what we're going to have to transfer into the Test series."

He insists England's unexpected three-wicket defeat against the Kiwi second string will not adversely affect confidence.

"I don't think so," he said.

"Some people did spend quality time in the middle; bowlers got overs into their legs.

"It's inevitable that in warm-up games some batsmen are going to miss out.

"I'm sure that whoever plays in the first Test on Wednesday will be ready to face whatever's thrown at them."

 

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