Guwahati: Key New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns, carrying a niggling left hamstring injury, is a doubtful starter for the Kiwis' crucial match against Australia here on Sunday. Cairns has already missed two of the four matches New Zealand have played in the tri- series including the Cuttack match against India on Thursday. "We will assess his injury tomorrow morning and then decide whether to play him or not," Kiwi coach Ashley Ross said on Saturday after his team had nets at the Nehru Stadium here.
Cairns sat out of New Zealand's second match at Faridabad against Australia before turning out against the world champions at Pune where his problem got aggravated yet again and forced him to miss the Cuttack match. Ross said the Kiwis were now picking up and improving with every match. "We are a professional side and we have lately been playing well. We hope to keep the momentum going in the coming matches," Ross said.
The New Zealanders pulled off a scintillating win after overcoming heavy odds against the hosts at Cuttack to end their three-match winless streak in the tournament. On the wicket at the Nehru Stadium, Ross said the team batting first would be at a disadvantage as the conditions would help the bowlers in the morning. Underlining that it was a must-win situation for his team, Ross said the experience of having played at the same venue in 1999-2000 would come handy for his side.