Aus v NZ, Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston June 11, 2013

Vettori could be rested for Australia game

ESPNcricinfo staff

Daniel Vettori is an unsure starter for New Zealand's match against Australia due to his long-standing Achilles tendon injury. New Zealand papers reported that Vettori had received a saline injection during the game against Sri Lanka on Sunday, his first ODI match in two years, as he struggled on the field with pain. While the injury has not completely flared up, benching Vettori would be more of a precautionary measure, to keep him available for the rest of Champions Trophy.

New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum said the team would assess Vettori's fitness situation, and take a decision depending on the conditions at Edgbaston. "We want to keep assessing Dan, knowing how valuable he is to our set up and knowing the wicket will be similar to what we found today against Sri Lanka in Cardiff [on Sunday]," McCullum told New Zealand Herald. "That's where the assessment at Edgbaston is important. If it doesn't have the same grip and stop that we've seen [in Cardiff] then we've got to weigh up the risk of playing him, knowing others could fill the void."

Vettori, who missed the Test and ODI series against England, had consulted a specialist in London during the ODI series. Against Sri Lanka on Sunday, he took a wicket in his first over and bowled six overs for 16 runs. He also took a catch, running backwards to dismiss Thisara Perera but hobbled through the rest of the Sri Lankan innings in obvious discomfort.

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  • Beau on June 11, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    It really is a tough decision, must be causing a few headaches in the NZ camp.

    Vettori's recent history suggests to me that "fit to play" isn't so much a state that he can work step-by-step to achieve and then carefully maintain so much as one that he finds himself in for short windows of time before something breaks down again.

    If he can hobble in, keep the run-rate down, and dismiss the opposition's best batsman*, how could you leave him out?

    *Yes, yes. I realise Sanga is in the same side. But Sanga is a freak of nature - a Lara, a Hadlee - Mahela's just a guy who bats really really well.

  • Dummy4 on June 11, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    It makes sense to rest big players against lesser teams like Australia and save them for the knockouts. Unless New Zealand have a bad day and play to 20% of their potential and Australia play to 200% of theirs I do not see an upset win for the Aussies.

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