Martin Guptill has been added to New Zealand's squad as cover for the injured Ross Taylor for the two-match series opener –Day/Night Test against England at Eden Park in Auckland on Thursday (March 22).
The 31-year-old has been sidelined since October 2016 when he played his last Test against India. Now, he has been recalled for the England Test thanks to his 73 in the second warm-up in Hamilton last week.
So far, the right-hander has played 47 Tests, scoring 2586 runs at an average of 29.38 for the Black Caps.
As per Cricbuzz, New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said, “We opted for extra batting cover for that final spot and with Martin having been playing in the middle-order recently; he can cover a number of positions for us. Ross is progressing nicely and is expected to take a full part in training tomorrow. The team are looking forward to what will be a special match beginning on Thursday.”
Taylor, who picked up a thigh injury during the One Day series opener against England, is expected to join the Kiwi squad ahead of the Auckland Test, but, in case, he fails to get 100% fitness, then Guptill will play at the middle order in the first Test.
Meanwhile, Guptill told ESPNcricinfo on Monday, “I've got a couple more games to go for Auckland so hopefully, I can get into the middle order and stay injury free. I've still got ambitions to play some more Test cricket, I've got to score some runs to Auckland.
New Zealand Squad:
Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling (wk), Todd Astle, Tom Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill.