Mitchell sustained a finger fracture while batting in a practice session ahead of the start of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. As a result, he also had to sit out of the tri-series at home against Bangladesh and Pakistan.
After missing the first game of the tournament against Australia, reports suggested that Mitchell was fit for the second game against Afghanistan, but the match was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
“Yep, I think Daryl has come through all the tests he needs to come through from obviously suffering a broken hand a few weeks back,” said Southee. “Yeah, I think he comes back in for the side tomorrow.”
Mark Chapman slotted in for Mitchell during the tri-series and even got game time during New Zealand’s T20 World Cup opening match against Australia. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old will be making way for the all-rounder in the playing XI, as revealed by Southee.
When quizzed about if Glenn Phillips will make way for Mitchell, Southee was quick to clarify that it will be Chapman who could lose out on his place.
“Yeah, I don’t think [it will be Phillips] — I think it’s probably Mark Chapman the one that’s, I guess, the unlucky one who came in for Daryl in the Tri-Series against Bangladesh and Pakistan,” Southee said.
“Yeah, Glenn has been phenomenal for us over the last while, as well, both in the field and adding, I guess, valuable runs at a reasonable rate when he bats.
“Yeah, it’s unlucky, I guess, for Mark Chapman, who hasn’t really done anything wrong, but I think the way that Daryl — he’s a valuable member of the side and he’s done well for us, so yeah, now that he’s fit and ready, he just comes back in. He’ll slot back in there.”
The Kiwis will be happy to have Mitchell back on the team. The 31-year-old all-rounder played a crucial role in their road to the T20 World Cup Final last year, scoring 208 runs at an average of 34.66 while striking at 140.54. In the semi-final against England, he batted through the innings and took New Zealand home with a stunning 47-ball 72* to help his side book a berth in the Final.
New Zealand is currently on top of the table in Group 1, which is precariously placed due to matches being washed out. As of this writing, the top and the bottom team are apart by just one point and as a result, every game becomes crucial to secure a place in the knockouts.
The Black Caps play Sri Lanka in the only match on Saturday, 29 October, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.