Blackcaps v India: Rookie batsman Glenn Phillips seeks more opportunities

Blackcaps batsman Glenn Phillips hopes for more opportunities in the national side, after an impressive performance in the final test against Australia. 

Phillips had to make a last-minute flight across the Tasman last Thursday to make his debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground after several New Zealand players fell ill. 

The 23-year-old made the most of his unexpected opportunity, top-scoring with 52 in the Blackcaps' first innings. 

Previously, the South African-born youngster featured in 11 T20s for New Zealand, with his last coming in December 2018.

With several players, including fellow batsman/wicketkeeper Tom Latham (left pinky fracture) ruled out of the upcoming T20 series against India, Phillips has his eye on a spot in the team. 

Although Latham hasn't featured much in New Zealand's T20 team lately, he's also in doubt for the one-day international series that follows. 

"All I can do is push my case as much as possible and hope, when my chance comes, I'm ready for it," explains Phillips. "I'll take whatever opportunity I get if that comes." 

Also in contention for the 'keeping spot is test gloveman BJ Watling, Todd Blundell - who scored a century as an opener in the Boxing Day test - and T20 incumbent Tim Seifert.

"We're all prepared to be called upon at any moment," Phillips added. "I want to do the best for the team that I can and if that means taking that role, then so be it.

"But I'm sure whoever takes that role will make the most of the opportunity."

Phillips has largely been regarded as a white-ball specialist, but he hopes his form in Sydney proved he can play all three formats of cricket for his adopted country. 

"My best format stats-wise is the four-day [domestic cricket] stuff, so that's why I felt comfortable at the crease, compared to if I was playing one-day or T20 cricket. 

"Even though I've been branded as a white-ball cricketer, the improvements I've made to my red-ball game allowed me to head into the match with confidence and say I have what it takes to play this game."    

Phillips will get another chance to impress selectors, when he turns out for the Auckland Aces in the domestic T20 Super Smash on Friday.

India will arrive in New Zealand later this month, after hosting Australia for three-match one-day and T20 series that begins next week.

The Blackcaps will also name their T20 squad next week.