As if injuries to Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry weren’t enough, New Zealand were hampered by absence of Scott Kuggleijn and Mitchell Santner for the second ODI. Tim Southee, too, battled an illness while Ish Sodhi had been released to play a four-dayer against India A in Lincoln.
Southee soldiered on and meticulously took down India captain Virat Kohli, but had to leave the field after finishing his ten overs. So depleted were New Zealand that they had to call their assistant coach Luke Ronchi as a substitute fielder. Yet, they dug deep enough to overcome a batting collapse and a late scare from Ravindra Jadeja to sew up the series.
But problems – even outside fitness reasons – persist. Ross Taylor has fired in both the ODIs, but the rest of the middle-order has faltered. Williamson’s return at Bay Oval, his home ground, could remedy some of…