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Vettori out of Canada game

india Updated: Mar 12, 2011 01:05 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

While other teams that are working overtime to tweak their combinations to include an extra spinner in their playing XI, New Zealand has had the luxury of two spin bowling all-rounders to maintain the requisite balance.

Element of doubt
However, a knee injury to captain Daniel Vettori seems to have put an element of doubt in the New Zealand camp over whether to continue the same strategy or opt for the extra paceman given the good form shown by all their speedsters in the tournament so far.

Vettori, who strained a ligament in his right knee during their last match against Pakistan, will sit out of their next game against Canada on Sunday.

The team management is hopeful that Vettori will have recovered before their next game at the same venue against Sri Lanka on March 18, but the Kiwis would like to prepare for any eventuality. It will be a toss up between back up spinner Luke Woodcock and medium pacer Hamish Bennett.

All options open
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill declined to comment on the possible combination for Sunday's game but admitted that there were two schools of thought. "We haven't had a selection meeting yet. The decision will be taken tomorrow."

But when asked a direct question about Woodcock replacing Vettori in the squad, Guptill said, "I am not sure if Woodcock with play or if we will opt for Bennett," he added.

Bennett began with a four-wicket haul against Kenya and was impressive against Zimbabwe as well before being dropped for the last game to accommodate all rounder Jacob Oram. Even Kyle Mills and Tim Southee have been in very good form in the tournament and were instrumental in putting Pakistan on the back foot with the new ball.

They shared seven scalps in that game and Southee has already taken 10 wickets from four games in the competition so far.

McCullum may also get a rest
New Zealand may also rest wicket keeper batsman Brendon McCullum for the game since the 29-year-old is also carrying a few niggles.

He batted for some time in the nets on Friday and was his usual aggressive best, hitting the ball all-round the park, but a team sources admitted that he was not 100 per cent.

Twenty-one year old Kane Williamson, who captained the Kiwis in the 2008 Under-19 World Cup, may get a look in that case.