New Zealand might have won the T20I series against Sri Lanka on Tuesday but are currently dealing with injury problems in the team. With batsman Tom Bruce receiving medical attention for an injured knee on the pitch, the Kiwis are down to 10 fit players in the ongoing tour, with one T20I still remaining.
The injury-list started with Lockie Ferguson being ruled out of the series on the eve of the first game, due to a thumb fracture. Then it was the turn of Ross Taylor with a hip flexor injury before the second T20I, and Martin Guptill after that suffered abdominal pain during the match making the situation worse for the Kiwis.
Now the big question for the Black Caps is whether they can field a team of XI for the final T20I.
Taylor looks likely to return, terming his absence as precautionary. “I swung at the ball a bit too hard, swung and missed, and felt [the hip] twinge a little bit. More of a precautionary measure, nothing major,” he said.
Though the chances of Guptill to return soon unlikely, there is still no clarity on fitness of Bruce, who scored 53 in the second T20I.
Bruce said, “I’ll ice the knee and rest up the next couple of days. I think it should be right, fingers crossed anyway. I think Guppy might be struggling a wee bit.”
Sri Lanka players Shehan Jayasuriya and Kusal Mendis also suffered minor injuries after they collided with each other to give New Zealand a much-needed six in the final over of the second T20 International in Pallekele. With seven runs needed in six balls, New Zealand lost Tom Bruce and Daryl Mitchell on consecutive deliveries by Wanidu Hasaranga, before Mitchell Santner decided to play a lofted shot to long-on. Shehan Jayasuriya took the catch but he touched the boundary following the collision with teammate Kusal Mendis, who came racing towards him from deep mid-wicket.
This is not the first time when these two cricketers have suffered injuries on the field. In August, Jayasuriya and Mendis skidded off a bike while celebrating a clean sweep victory over Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series in Colombo.