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Glenn Phillips called up to Kiwis’ Test squad as Kane Williamson battles flu ahead of Sydney Test

Apart from Kane Williamson, top-order batsman Henry Nicholls and spinner Mitchell Santner are also suffering from illness.

Glenn Phillips
Glenn Phillips (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Australia inflicted a heavy innings defeat on New Zealand in the first two Test matches. The touring party lost to the hosts by an innings and 296 runs at Perth. The tragedy soon followed Kiwis around like a shadow as they lost by an innings and 247 runs in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. As a result, Australia clinched the Test series.

While New Zealand are working hard to beat the Aussies and to steer clear of a whitewash, they received bad news as their skipper Kane Williamson missed a training session for the second straight day on Thursday on the eve of the third and final Test match of the series. As Kane Williamson is a doubtful starter for the final Test as he is battling flu, New Zealand Cricket has called up young prodigy Glenn Phillips ahead of the Sydney Test.

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Apart from Kane Williamson, top-order batsman Henry Nicholls and spinner Mitchell Santner are also suffering from illness, in what comes as a big blow to New Zealand’s ideal preparations for the final Test as they are searching for a consolation victory over the hosts.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead praises Glenn Phillips

New Zealand coach Gary Stead heaped praise on the young batsman Glenn Phillips for his rich vein of form this season. He is also confident that top-order batsman Nicholls and skipper Kane will get through illness and take part in the final Test. “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,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said as quoted by IndiaToday. “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.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand vice-captain Tom Latham said that he had hoped that his skipper Kane Williamson could turn up for the third and final Test which will be played on January 3 (Friday) at Sydney Cricket Ground. Tom Latham, at the pre-match press conference, said Kane Williamson will play Sydney Test even if there is a small chance of him playing. He also highlighted that Kane Williamson is a great leader in the brigade.

“I think it’ll take a lot [to keep Williamson out]. He’s obviously a great leader amongst this group and he’s passionate about this group. I’m sure if there’s any chance of him playing, even if it is a small chance, he’ll certainly be playing,” Latham added in a statement.

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