The Black Caps' preparation for the third and final test in Sydney has been disrupted due to several players falling ill. Niall Anderson runs through all you need to know – or at least what we know so far - ahead of the third and final test.
So, who is playing for the Black Caps today?
You are. Yes, congratulations, you are playing for the Black Caps, after illness has swept through the camp in Sydney.
No, alas, as enjoyably chaotic as it would be to have a repeat of the scenes in Sri Lanka last year, the Black Caps will have enough players – just - in Sydney after they flew in Glenn Phillips to cover for the ill Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls.
Potentially thankful for the short flight from Sydney to Auckland, the Black Caps were able to ensure they have enough cover after Mitchell Santner joined Williamson and Nicholls (who both have viral infections) in isolation yesterday, leaving just 12 bodies at training, and not enough batsmen. But now Phillips is onboard, and could even play today.
Really? A test debut at the SCG, straight off the plane?
Quite possibly! If even one of Williamson or Nicholls can't play – and it sounds like Nicholls is the least likely of the two – Phillips should come into the starting lineup. Able to bat at both three and five, his selection makes more sense than having an unconvincing tail with Todd Astle batting at No 7, or the other option, which is the return of Jeet Raval.
If Raval plays, he would either be playing out of position, or disrupting the potential next long-term Black Caps opening partnership of Tom Blundell and Tom Latham. And, given that Phillips has been in much better form than Raval anyway, and is much more versatile, it's an easy choice.
If both batsmen are ruled out, the temptation would remain to play Phillips, and bat Astle at seven anyway, as even he is probably a better bet to score runs than Raval, given the state we last saw the opener in during the test in Perth.
How much has this build-up messed with selections?
Plenty. Had everyone been fit, the top seven would have been locked in, and Williamson yesterday probably would have given everybody an insight into the Black Caps' likely team – which had some intrigue around it given the SCG wicket is set to offer the most spin of the tour so far. However, Tom Latham couldn't provide any clarity over who would play when he stepped in for Williamson at the press conference, and the bowling lineup remains a mystery.
What are the chances of playing two spinners?
It's surely at least slightly tempting, as the Black Caps could go into the test with Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme as their seamers, and then use two spinners – likely Todd Astle and Will Somerville - as well as whatever off-spin bowling batsman Williamson plucks from his cap this time.
The other seam-bowling options aren't that exciting – Matt Henry and his test average of 48.5, or the uncapped Kyle Jamieson – so if there was any test to play two spinners, this would be it.
If everyone is fit, they will likely pick Henry and Somerville, instead of two spinners, but if the balance of the side needs reshuffling due to illness, then Astle comes into the equation as an all-rounder to go alongside both Henry and Somerville.
Regardless of who they pick, is there any chance of a big turnaround?
Based on the Black Caps' batting efforts so far, and Australia's all-round dominance, you'd have to class it as highly unlikely, bordering on impossible if Williamson and Nicholls are both out. With Williamson and Ross Taylor both due some runs, it's plausible they could put up a bigger fight if at full-strength, but it's also hard to see the Black Caps taking 20 wickets unless they get some magic from their spinner(s).
However – it's not entirely out of the question that they could salvage a draw.
If they bat well, then come day four and five the weather could play its part, with showers and a thunderstorm predicted in the Sydney long-range forecast on both Monday and Tuesday – probably why the odds for the draw - $4.50 – are shorter than you'd expect based on the first two matches. Australia, however, are still at $1.36, with New Zealand at $10, indicating that the bookmakers aren't too concerned about the forecast just yet.
Australian coach Justin Langer, however, is hoping for rain – as it would help with the bushfires currently ravaging parts of New South Wales.
"It's the first time I'll ever be saying this in my life, but I hope it rains a bit during the test match, because Sydney needs it," Langer said.
Ok, I gotcha now. Just run me through all those likely Black Caps XIs again?
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner
Nicholls ruled out, Williamson fit
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Glenn Phillips, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner
Both Nicholls and Williamson ruled out
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Glenn Phillips, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Will Somerville, Neil Wagner
Whew. And how will I be able to find out who is playing?
You can follow our live blog every day and join in with the interaction, or listen to every ball on Radio Sport. You can also watch on Sky Sport or stream the test live on Sky Sport Now. We will also have live interactive player ratings, so you can have your say as the match unfolds on which Black Caps impress, and which fail to flatter.
Enjoy the test.