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Australia vs New Zealand 2019-20: Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls major doubts at SCG; Glenn Phillips called in as cover

Published Jan 02, 2020
Jan 02, 2020 IST

Kane Williamson was taken ill on the eve of the 3rd Test
Kane Williamson was taken ill on the eve of the 3rd Test

What’s the story?

Henry Nicholls and Kane Williamson have fallen to an illness on the eve of the 3rd Test between Australia and New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In response, the Black Caps have been forced into swift action, with Glenn Phillips being called in as cover.

In case you didn’t know

New Zealand have endured a wretched tour so far with the Kiwis comprehensively being beaten in each department across both encounters. To put things into perspective, they failed to breach the 200-run mark in their first three innings, although Tom Blundell ensured that they avoided embarrassment by powering them to a score in excess of 200 in their second innings at the MCG.

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The heart of the matter

Nicholls and Williamson missed training for the second successive day on the 2nd of January, meaning that the team management felt the need to fly Phillips in as cover. Additionally, Mitchell Santner, who has endured a dismal series, also went down to the bug plaguing the Kiwi camp.

On the prospect of entering the game without two of their key batsmen, Gary Stead remarked,

We've obviously got a few balls up in the air at the moment and we want to be on the safe side and have options. Glenn has been in terrific form this season and has good versatility with where he can bat and the roles he can play. He's been around the T20 team for the past couple of years so should feel comfortable in the environment. We're still hopeful Henry and Kane will pull through and we will give them every chance to prove their fitness. If one or both are ruled out then we will consider our options and most importantly how they balance the side for this final Test.

However, if Williamson were to be deemed unfit, the captaincy baton could be passed onto Tom Latham, who was tasked with addressing the media as part of the side’s pre-match routine.

What’s next?

New Zealand have already lost the 3-match series, although they have pride to play for. Moreover, they would be hoping to get a win on the board to ensure that they don’t fall too behind in the ICC World Test Championship standings. 

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