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Vettori back as Kiwis face crucial tie

The New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori returns to the side for their must-win fourth ODI against India tomorrow after the birth of his first child.

WELLINGTON // The New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori returns to the side for their must-win fourth One-Day International (ODI) against India tomorrow after the birth of his first child. Vettori was missing as the Kiwis lost the third match after Sachin Tendulkar scored a majestic 163 in the Indian total of 392-4 and New Zealand fell 58 runs short despite an impressive 166-run opening stand between Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum and some late slogging by Kyle Mills.

Tim Southee was dropped as the pacer posted the most expensive 10-over bowling spell by a New Zealander in a one-dayer with figures of 0-105. The medium-fast bowler Ian Butler has been omitted from the Kiwi squad after suffering a muscle strain on Sunday, which limited him to bowling just five of his allotted 10 overs. His place has been taken by left-arm seamer Ewen Thompson, who made his international Twenty20 debut against the West Indies in December .

India now hold a 2-0 lead in the series and New Zealand can only hope to square the series after the second match was abandoned due to rain. Vettori's tight bowling will be even more important in the absence of Butler, the only other bowler who has posted consistently respectable figures. The selection panel head Glenn Turner said Butler should be available for the final game in Auckland on Saturday.

McCullum, who did not keep wickets in Christchurch after being hit on the thumb in the first one-dayer in Napier, would continue to play just as a batsman with Peter McGlashan staying with the squad, Turner added. * PA Sport

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