New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram has developed a tight hamstring and will be a doubtful starter for Friday's ODI tri-series match against Sri Lanka, Black Caps skipper Ross Taylor said in Dambulla.
"We have a little bit of a niggle with Jacob Oram, just a tight hamstring. Hopefully he can recover well tonight, we'll see how he goes tomorrow," Taylor told reporters.
"He's an outstanding bowler for us, top 10 in the one-day rankings, if we were to lose him, it will be a huge loss but it will be an opportunity for whoever comes in," he added. Another important player of the team, B J Watling was ruled out of New Zealand's record 200-run win over India due to a stomach bug and skipper Taylor is hopeful that the opener will be able to make his ODI debut on Friday.
"BJ (Watling) is not quite 100 per cent. When you being struck down for a couple of days, you are going to be a bit off the weather, another night's sleep tonight, hopefully he wakes up feeling better than he did today," Taylor said.
Speaking about their spectacular win over India, Taylor said fatigue could be a reason behind India's 200-run defeat as they had little time to rest after the gruelling three-Test series against Sri Lanka.
"I'm sure a lot of their players who played in the Test series will be a little bit tired. They have played three-Test series over three and a half weeks or so is tough," he said.
"The same goes for Sri Lanka, they have had 2-3 day extra rest than the Indians, they might be a little more refreshed, it's still pretty hot and we're still getting used to it as well," he added. Taylor also refused to get carried away by their mammoth win over India and said they will have to put in their best effort again to beat the hosts.
"I don't want to get carried away, it was one victory and the team played well, Sri Lanka are difficult in their home conditions and we have to come out with the same attitude and the same intent in the next game," Taylor said. Asked about Sri Lanka's strike bowlers Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis, Taylor said it would be a big challenge to face them for his young team.
"They are unique bowlers in their own right. We'll watch them hard, you have to respect them but at the same time you have to play the ball on its merits. Few of them have never faced them so it will be a big challenge," he said. Taylor also heaped praise on Roger Mortimer, who has recently been roped in as the performance director of New Zealand Cricket.
"Roger Mortimer has come in with a big sporting background, he has worked a lot with athletes in New Zealand who have gone on to win Olympic gold medals. We have Roger who looks after some of the cricketing stuff and he's been really good. I'm sure a lot of the success we've had in recent times will have to be put down to Roger," he said.