Beleaguered New Zealand are likely to be without all-rounder Nathan McCullum when they take on underdogs Kenya in their opening World Cup game on Sunday.
The key player was hospitalised with high fever and was expected to be discharged only on Saturday, making him a doubtful starter for the day match at the Chidambaram Stadium.
Over the last few months McCullum has established himself as a regular member of the one-day side, backing up captain Daniel Vettori as the second spinner and contributing runs lower down the order.
In his likely absence, Vettori may have to draft in left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock, who has played only two one-day internationals.
McCullum’s setback is the latest in a long list of worries for the Kiwis who go into the tournament low on confidence, having lost 14 of their last 16 one-day internationals.