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Williamson, Nicholls in doubt for Sydney Test, Glenn Phillips called up as cover

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New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and batsman Henry Nicholls are in doubt for the third Test against Australia in Sydney, as they struggle with viral infection in the build-up to the game.

Auckland wicket-keeper batsman Glenn Phillips has been called up as cover for the batting duo. The 23-year-old has made 11 T20I appearances for the Black Caps, accumulating 140 runs in 10 innings.

Phillips has featured in 23 first-class games, and has aggregated 1489 runs at 42.54, including four centuries and nine half-centuries. This is his maiden call-up to the Test side.

The right-hander has been in good form this season, notching up domestic hundreds in all three formats, including an impressive 116 against England for New Zealand A last year. He is also Auckland's third-highest run-scorer in the 2019/20 Plunket Shield, scoring 85 runs in two games.

“We’ve obviously got a few balls up in the air at the moment and we want to be on the safe side and have options,” said Gary Stead, the New Zealand head coach, on Phillips' inclusion. “Glenn has been in terrific form this season and has good versatility with where he can bat and the roles he can play. 

“He’s been around the T20 team for the past couple of years so should feel comfortable in the environment. We’re still hopeful Henry and Kane will pull through and we will give them every chance to prove their fitness.

“If one or both are ruled out then we will consider our options and most importantly how they balance the side for this final Test.”

The third Test between New Zealand and Australia begins on Friday, 3 January. 

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