McCullum not sure for third ODI

Christchurch, December 30

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum is “unlikely” to play in third ODI match against Sri Lanka on Thursday as he recovers from a back injury, coach Mike Hesson has said.

McCullum damaged a disc diving for a ball on the boundary during the second match in Christchurch on Monday which the hosts won comfortably to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

“He’s still pretty sore,” Hesson told local media on Wednesday. “It’s unlikely he’ll play but he’s still a chance. Normally we talk about 24 to 48 hours (for recovery). It’s probably closer to 48 than 24.

He’s certainly improving but unless he’s good to go, we won’t risk him,” he said. “He’s certainly one of those guys that if there’s a chance he can play he’d like to.”

Kane Williamson and fast bowler Adam Milne are in line for selection after recovering from injuries, however.

Williamson hurt his knee fielding during the second test against Sri Lanka in Hamilton but proved his fitness in a full training session. “Kane’s great.

He was keen to play the last one but he was still pretty sore. He’s trained well today and recovered well,” said Hesson.

New Zealand will also play Sri Lanka in Twenty20 matches on January 7 in Mt Maunganui and Auckland on January 10 as part of their preparations for the World T20 in India.