Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

New Zealand battle illness as they look to sweep ODI series against India

Kiwis call in reinforcements for third ODI at the Bay Oval

Kiwi pacer Tim Southee, left, bowled despite being ill during the second ODI against India at Eden Park in Auckland. AP
Kiwi pacer Tim Southee, left, bowled despite being ill during the second ODI against India at Eden Park in Auckland. AP

New Zealand were forced to call in reinforcements as illness swept through their camp ahead of the third and final match of the ODI series against India.

The Kiwis have taken a winning 2-0 lead in the series and will be looking to hand Virat Kohli's team a series sweep of their own after the visitors took the preceding T20 series 5-0.

However, the Blackcaps will have to first focus on fielding a fully fit team. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and fast bowler Blair Tickner were called back to the squad after illness struck during the weekend.

Sodhi and Tickner were released to play for New Zealand 'A' against India 'A' in a four-day game in Christchurch but were recalled after Scott Kuggeleijn picked up a virus, while Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner were diagnosed with gastroenteritis.

Kuggeleijn and Santner were both ruled out of the second match in Auckland on Saturday, although the former did end up as a substitute fielder in the 22-run win that sealed the three-match series with a game to spare.

Southee, who temporarily left the field at Eden Park to be sick, bowled out his full quota of 10 overs, taking 2-41 and earning praise from his team and commentators before he left the field for good.

"For him to do that, it just shows how much wearing the silver fern on his chest means to him," pacer Hamish Bennett said of Southee's efforts, which included bowling India captain Virat Kohli.

"He's a good leader in our side and his actions have a lot to do with that. He led by example, to show that no matter what the situation is, you've just got to go out there and get the job done."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson missed the first two games of the ODI series because of a shoulder injury but is likely to play in the third game.

Williamson hurt his shoulder while fielding in the third Twenty20 game against India and he missed the final two matches of that series as well.

The match at Bay Oval in Mt. Maunganui is the final limited overs game of the tour with the first of two Tests starting in Wellington on February 21.

India, on the other hand, have a lot of work to do after they were outplayed for large portions of the two ODIs. In the second ODI, it was only the lower order heroics from Ravindra Jadeja and Navdeep Saini that gave them an outside chance of victory before they lost by 22 runs.

One Indian player who will be desperate to make an impression is pacer Jasprit Bumrah. The right arm quick had a poor outing in the previous game, going for 64 runs and failing to pick up a wicket on a surface where fast bowlers did well.

Updated: February 10, 2020 03:49 PM

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