Daniel Vettori in action against Australia © Getty Images
Daniel Vettori might sit out the forthcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka after increasing soreness in his back made it evident that he was in need of a rest.

Vettori was below his best with the ball in Auckland Test against Australia, and Stephen Fleming, New Zealand's captain, admitted that he was worried with the first Test at Napier due to start on Monday. "Daniel's very sore and we'll just have to measure it up," Fleming told reporters. "He's done incredibly well to get this far - a stand-out figure. I just appreciate how much pain he's played under and what he's done."

Vettori agreed that he was in need of break. "We've got a few days off before the Sri Lankan series, he told the Otago Daily Times. "I'm going to use that as much as I can to rest and try and get ready. "It [the back] has been sore since the start of the Test series and I've got through it as much as I can.

"I just want to give it the next few days and get a better feel for it. Sometimes, after a couple of days' rest, it does pick up quite quickly."

If Vettori can struggle through the Sri Lanka Tests, then he will have almost four months to recharge his batteries as New Zealand are not in action again until August, when they tour Zimbabwe.

New Zealand have felt the pressure of the endless cycle of international cricket more than most, with a string of players sidelined through injury. Scott Styris is recovering from knee surgery while Jacob Oram and Ian Butler are battling back from long-standing back problems. Chris Harris underwent shoulder surgery after injuring himself in the VB Series in February, Daryl Tuffey has a bicep strain and Michael Papps has undergone an operation on his finger.