Hyderabad: In what could be a major blow to New Zealand ahead of their ODI series against India starting on January 18 with the first ODI scheduled at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, spinner Ish Sodhi has been ruled out of the 1st ODI due to a niggle.

The same was confirmed by the BlackCaps stand-in skipper Tom Latham who attended a pre-match press conference on the eve of the series opener. However, Latham hoped to have his senior spinner fit for the next two ODIs.

“Unfortunately a niggle for Ish. He won’t be available tomorrow but fingers crossed he will be available for the next couple of games,” Latham said.

Tim Southee and Trent Boult’s absence leaves a massive hole: Latham

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Latham agreed that the absence of senior speesters Tim Southee and Trent Boult will leave a massive hole in their squad. However, he also saw this as an opportunity for some of the other pacers to step up. Among the batters, regular captain Kane Williamson will be the big name missing. While Southee gas returned home, Boult will only be considered for ICC events after having opted out of a contral contract. The left-arm pacer is currently playing in the ILT20 in the UAE.

“They (Boult, Southee, Williamson) are not in the side and that leaves a massive hole for us. On the other hand, it presents an opportunity for other guys who have been around the squad. Everyone has played international cricket in the squad which is a bonus,” Latham said.

“It is their turn to step up. Lucky we have Lockie Ferguson who has played a lot of cricket in India,” the 30-year-old added.

In the absence of the senior campaigners, Ferguson will spearhead New Zealand pace bowling who will have the likes of Blair Tickner, Doug Bracewell and Henry Shipley to share the responsibilities with.

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