Visitors India received a major boost ahead of the fifth and final one day international against New Zealand after former skipper MS Dhoni was declared fit while the hosts could miss the services of opener Martin Guptill after he aggravated his lower back injury.
Dhoni had missed the third and fourth ODIs due to a hamstring injury and his calm presence in the middle was missed in the last game where India were bowled out for a meagre 92 runs in Hamilton. Batting coach Sanjay Bangar confirmed on Saturday that the 37-year-old was fit and available for selection ahead of the fifth and final game of the series.
India have already secured the five-ODI series after winning the first three games. New Zealand won the fourth match by eight wickets to claw one back.
However, the hosts suffered a blow during Saturday’s fielding practice at the Basin Reserve when Guptill aggravated his lower back while throwing a ball, PTI reported.
The 32-year-old looked in pain as he walked off the ground with the help of New Zealand physiotherapist Vijay Vallabh and security manager Terry Minish. “Martin Guptill is in doubt for tomorrow’s fifth ODI against India after aggravating his lower back while fielding this afternoon,” New Zealand Cricket tweeted.
“He’s been assessed by team physio Vijay Vallabh & will be reassessed tomorrow morning. Colin Munro will rejoin the ODI squad tomorrow morning,” NZC added.
Colin Munro, who was left out of the fourth ODI after his scores of 8, 31 and 7 in the first three ODIs, is set to return to the squad.
Even if Guptill misses the last ODI, he may be fit to play the first Twenty20 international in Wellington on Wednesday.
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