Wellington — An outstanding World Cup campaign has earned opening batsman Martin Guptill a recall to the New Zealand test side for its two-test series in England next month, reports AP. Guptill played the most-recent of his 31 test on New Zealand’s last tour to England in 2013. He has two test centuries, including a highest score of 189, but inconsistent form which has left him with an average of 29.62 led to his recent omission from the New Zealand test squad.
Guptill scored two centuries and a half century as New Zealand reached the final of the World Cup, making an unbeaten 237 in a quarterfinal against the West Indies — the highest score by a New Zealander in one-day internationals. Fast bowler Matt Henry, who played in the World Cup semifinals and final as an injury replacement, has also been named in the test squad. New Zealand will play two warm-up games ahead of the first test against England, beginning at Lord’s on May 21, and coach Mike Hesson said Guptill would have a chance to press his claims for test selection.
“This is a stable, established test side but there will be opportunities for contenders,” Hesson said. “Martin’s a classically-styled batsman and there’s really no reason why he can’t be as influential in the longer game as he is in the short.” Henry is selected partly as a result of an injury to all-rounder Jimmy Neesham. “It’s another step up for Matt but we’ve been impressed by the maturity and skill set he’s already shown in the ODI format,” Hesson said.
Wicketkeeper B.J. Watling will captain the New Zealand team during warm-up matches against Somerset and Worcestershire, while Brendon McCullum and other players take part in the Indian Premier League. Fast bowlers Jacob Duffy and Ben Wheeler and all-rounder Mitchell Santner will also join the squad during that period. Santner is the only uncapped player included in the New Zealand squad to play one-day and Twenty20 series later in the tour. “Mitchell brings to the table some all-round cover,” Hesson said. “We’re hoping he can take his opportunities and continue the excellent progress he’s been making over recent seasons.”
New Zealand test squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Luke Ronchi, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson. New Zealand ODI and T20 squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.