NZealand sweats on Williamson, Nicholls and Santner while the insect hits the team

Sydney, January 2 (AFP) New Zealand was sweating Thursday for the fitness of King and Captain Kane Williamson after he and Henry Nicholls missed a second day of training before the final Test against Australia.

Both fight viral infections as they run to recover for the confrontation in Sydney, where visitors are desperate to recover some pride after being hit in the first two Tests.

Spinner Mitchell Santner is also wrong and did not practice on Thursday, with batter Glenn Phillips running to Sydney on Thursday night as a cover.

It is in the air right now; Unfortunately, a couple of boys are a bit crooked, said starter Tom Latham, replacing Williamson in his pre-game press conference.

They are having free today, just like yesterday, so they cross their fingers and will be ready to leave tomorrow.

He has gone through the team a bit, which is obviously not ideal, but the crossed fingers are resting and we hope they wake up tomorrow morning and are ready to leave.

If they are not fit, it will leave New Zealand with big problems.

Jeet Raval is the only specialized batter waiting in the wings, but he has been out of shape and was eliminated for the last test in Melbourne.

They also have bowlers Todd Astle, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry and Will Somerville waiting.

Coach Gary Stead emphasized that the inclusion of Phillips was precautionary and they still hoped that all players were fit.

We are still hopeful that Henry and Kane will get ahead and we will give them every opportunity to prove their fitness, he said.

Glenn has been in excellent shape this season and has good versatility regarding where he can beat and the roles he can play. Latham said it would take Williamson a lot to lose a test.

He is obviously a great leader among this group and is passionate about this group, he said.

If there is any chance of paying, even if it is a small possibility, it will certainly play. New Zealand needs all the help they can get with the first two tests in Perth and Melbourne that end in heavy losses in four days. The captain of Australia, Tim Paine, has made it clear that his team has no intention of relaxing despite winning the series, after winning all four tests at home this season in four days. (AFP) APA APA

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