Keegan Petersen ruled out of New Zealand tour due to COVID-19; replacement announced

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South Africa batting sensation Keegan Petersen has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against New Zealand after testing positive for COVID-19. Cricket South Africa (CSA) said that Petersen is well and asymptomatic, and the medical team will keep in close contact with him to ensure his well-being.

“Proteas batsman, Keegan Petersen, will, unfortunately, miss the tour to New Zealand after testing positive for COVID-19. The number three batter is well and asymptomatic. Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) medical team will keep in close contact with him to ensure his physical and mental well-being,” said CSA in an official statement.

Notably, Petersen impressed one and all with his vital knocks against India in their recent 2-1 Test triumph at home, where he finished as the highest run-getter with 276 runs and won the Player of the Series award.

The Proteas have included Zubayr Hamza in the squad to replace Petersen for the New Zealand tour. Hamza has played five Tests so far and could potentially be a like-for-like replacement for Petersen as out of five Tests, he was the No.3 batter in four matches.

The Test series between South Africa and New Zealand comprises of two matches, both of which will be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The opening game will start on February 17, while the second Test shall commence on February 25.

The two-match leg will be played under the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23, where South Africa are placed fourth while Black Caps are at sixth position.

Here’s the updated South Africa squad for New Zealand tour:

Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Zubayr Hamza.

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