Sodhi, Tickner called up to reinforce stricken NZ

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Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - India v New Zealand - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 10, 2019 New Zealand's Mitchell Santner celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of India's Hardik Pandya Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

MOUNT MAUNGANUI: Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and pace bowler Blair Tickner have been called back into New Zealand’s One-day International squad for their final clash with India at the Bay Oval here on Tuesday after illness swept through the team at the weekend.

Sodhi and Tickner had been released to play for New Zealand ‘A’ against India ‘A’ in a four-day game in Christchurch but were recalled with Scott Kuggeleijn suffering from a virus, while Tim Southee and Mitchell Santner had gastroenteritis.

Kuggeleijn and Santner were both ruled out of the second match in Auckland last Saturday, although Kuggeleijn did end up as a substitute fielder temporarily 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 complement of 10 overs, taking 2-41 and earning plaudits from his team and commentators before he left the field again permanently.

“For him to do that, it just shows how much wearing the silver fern on his chest means to him,” fellow pace bowler Hamish Bennett said at the weekend 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, who has missed the first two games of the one-day series with a shoulder injury, was slated to have a fitness test at Bay Oval.

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 Mount Maunganui is the final limited-overs game of the tour with the first of two Tests starting at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Feb 21.

New Zealand will be banking on injured pace bowlers Trent Boult (hand), Matt Henry (thumb) and Lockie Ferguson (calf) coming back into contention for the Tests, although off-spinner Will Somerville has been ruled out because of ankle surgery.

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