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March 5, 2009
New Zealand's hopes of levelling the one-day series against India in Wellington may have received a blow with doubts over Brendon McCullum's availability for the second one-dayer after he injured his right thumb yet again. What is clear is McCullum will not be keeping; Peter McGlashan has been called up to replace him behind the stumps.
McCullum badly bruised his thumb, which he had previously fractured, when collecting a ball from medium-pacer Grant Elliott. McCullum batted in the nets on Thursday and Daniel Vettori, the captain, was hopeful he would be able to open the innings. "Obviously, the balance that Brendon brings into the squad is undermined by his ability not to keep but Pete [McGlashan] has been in pretty good form for the Northern Districts," Vettori said. "So we are hoping he can replicate that and it doesn't unsettle the team too much.
"It's funny with Brendon. We seem to have had a lot of fitness tests with him and he seems to have come through them all. He's a pretty belligerent guy and he wants to play every game possible even when it is back down for Otago. I would err on the side of optimism with him, but we just have to wait and see just how it goes today."
If McCullum plays, Neil Broom is most likely to sit out the game. Vettori said he hadn't discussed it with coach Andy Moles but omitting Broom would be the logical step. However Vettori said McCullum's absence would push Martin Guptill up the order to open with Jesse Ryder. "Take him [McCullum] out, and you lose his experience and that knowledge of how to chase down scores or even set up a big score. He will be a big loss but we are pretty excited with the way Martin and Jesse are playing. If they have to go out and open the batting, we still have a lot of confidence in them."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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