Phillips last-minute flight a near-thing

Scott Bailey
Glenn Phillips had little opportunity for the nerves to build before his Test debut at the SCG

New Zealand batsman Glenn Phillips almost missed the flight to Sydney to make his debut because he was stuck in traffic.

Phillips, who wants to be a pilot when his cricket career ends, had to make a last-minute flight across the Tasman on Thursday to feature in Friday's third Test.

But his chaotic few days could were nearly made even more dramatic while still in Auckland.

The 23-year-old was body surfing when told he needed to pack his bags, and was stuck in traffic before catching the last flight out of New Zealand.

Perhaps the rushed nature of his debut helped him though, as he had no time to build nerves before top-scoring with 52 in the New Zealand's first innings of 251 at the SCG on day three.

"I guess it does (help) a little bit," Phillips said.

"Also knowing it will probably only be the one Test for me - at this point in time - so there's no point being too uptight about it.

"I guess it helps a lot that also we also prepare as if we'll get called up last minute, that's not just myself, every player in our domestic competition."

The 23-year-old is however no overnight star.

He averaged 42.54 in 23 first-class matches and has played 11 Twenty20s for New Zealand.

His late call up should at least have made life hard for Australia to prepare for him, given they did not know he was a chance of playing until 12 hours before the toss.

But they had some advantage of knowing how he bats, with suggestions he is a virtual mirror image of one of their own.

"It got spoken about that he is a clone of Steve Smith," Nathan Lyon, who twice dropped Phillips off his own bowling, said.

"We had a fair indication of what he does and how he plays his cricket.

"Obviously Glenn looks like a decent player, looks like he likes to move the game forward quite fast.

"He plays his shots, so we're going to have to make sure our plans are really clear in the second dig."