Gary Stead explains why he chose previously-exiled Hamish Rutherford to cover injury-plagued Black Caps

Hamish Rutherford has come to the rescue for the injury-plagued Black Caps with the Otago batsman flying to Sri Lanka to join the squad for the third and final Twenty20 in Kandy.

Otago Volts' Hamish Rutherford. Source: Photosport

Rutherford hasn't played for the Black Caps since 2015 and hasn't featured in an international T20 since 2013, but that could all change with the 30-year-old called in as injury cover for Tom Bruce.

Bruce tweaked his right knee during the Black Caps' series-clinching win in the second match yesterday to join the likes of Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Lockie Ferguson on the sideline.

Coach Gary Stead said Rutherford was called-up for two reasons.

"One he's a great player and he's been in really good form the last few years for the Otago Volts and secondly he's in England playing at the moment so it's a quick trip here," Stead said.

"If Tom doesn't pull through with his knee and get right then Hamish is a likely starter in that match."

One player expected to recover is Taylor who was out with a hip issue but Stead said he could've played "if we desperately needed him to". The team decided to proceed with caution at the time but Stead said he'll be available for the third game on Saturday.

The news isn't so good for Guptill and Ferguson though, with Guptill flying home to recover from the abdominal strain he's picked up and Ferguson alread sent home previously with a broken finger.