McCullum back injury worries New Zealand

New Zealand will nervously await the arrival of Brendon McCullum at breakfast this morning. Only then will the Black Caps get a true idea of whether their star player is fit enough to take a full part in the third Test starting in Nottingham today.

McCullum has been suffering from a back injury and the tourists are wary that it could affect his ability to keep wicket. The 26-year-old successfully came through practice yesterday and was named in a 12-man squad but back ailments are unpredictable and the New Zealand selectors will only feel confident should he wake up this morning showing no reaction to his exertions.

"Brendon is having a tough time with his back and we will make a decision on him in the morning," admitted Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain. "He is not in doubt to bat but there is a possibility that his back may not be up to keeping wicket, therefore we will have to consider making more changes. Gareth Hopkins is here as our second keeper, so if Brendon cannot keep he comes in."

McCullum's condition is ongoing and it flared up during the second Test at Old Trafford. The problem did not stop him playing in the practice match against Northamptonshire, where he batted and fielded at slip.

In an attempt to shore up their batting and level the three-Test series, the Black Caps have replaced James Marshall with Peter Fulton. Tim Southee is in the squad, too, and is expected to play ahead of Iain O'Brien.

There was much better news on Daniel Flynn, the 23-year-old batsman who lost two teeth after being hit in the face by a James Anderson bouncer in the at Old Trafford. Flynn has made four visits to a dental surgery, where he initially had top and bottom teeth removed. The top tooth has been replaced with a cap and he has had the nerve in another tooth killed too.

Even so he is expected to play at Trent Bridge today. "I have seen a lot of guys go through what Daniel has gone through and the biggest problem is a reluctance to get back out there," said Vettori. "But he wanted to play and bat at Old Trafford after being hit. We expect him to get some more short stuff in this Test – it is the nature of international cricket.

"Jacob Oram will go through it, too. England attacked him with the short stuff and he struggled and it will be no different for him. They both have to overcome that hurdle."

These are just two of the obstacles New Zealand have to overcome if they are to win in Nottingham. The biggest challenge is finishing off a game they have control of and not choking.

"We need to win a game like we lost to England to get rid of it [the team's mindset]," admitted Vettori. "Even if you look back at the Hamilton game against England, when we won, there was a portion of our second innings when it got a bit frantic. That is one of the only times when we have come through a patch like that and won but we have to put ourselves in that position again and do it properly."

Teams for the third Test

England have named the same line-up for five successive Test matches, the first time since 1884-85:


M P Vaughan (Yorkshire, captain)

A J Strauss (Middlesex)

A N Cook (Essex)

K P Pietersen (Hampshire)

I R Bell (Warwickshire)

P D Collingwood (Durham)

T R Ambrose (Warwickshire, wkt)

S C J Broad (Notts)

R J Sidebottom (Notts)

M S Panesar (Northants)

J M Anderson (Lancashire).

New Zealand (from): J M How, A J Redmond, R P L Taylor, B B McCullum (wkt), D R Flynn, J D P Oram, D L Vettori (capt), K D Mills, T G Southee, C S Martin, I E O'Brien, P G Fulton.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) & D B Hair (Aus)

Weather: Five-day forecast for Trent Bridge

Today: 19C, Partly cloudy, 2mph wind, 20 per cent chance of rain

Tomorrow: 19C, Partly cloudy, 5mph wind, 10 per cent chance of rain

Saturday: 18C, Partly cloudy, 6mph wind, 10 per cent chance of rain

Sunday: 19C, Partly cloudy, 6mph wind, 10 per cent chance of rain

Monday: 21C, Partly cloudy, 8mph wind, 10 per cent chance of rain

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam