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Guptill returns to Kiwis ODI squad against Pak

Guptill returns to Kiwis ODI squad against Pak

Wellington [New Zealand]: Opener Martin Guptill, who has recovered fully from a hamstring injury, has been recalled in the 13-man New Zealand squad for the first two ODIs of the five-match series against Pakistan, beginning January 6 here at the Basin Reserve.

The 31-year-old was recently forced to miss New Zealand’s 3-0 triumph against West Indies in the three-match ODI series due to the injury, though he has since returned to fitness and is currently playing in the ongoing T20I series against the Caribbean side.

New Zealand national selector Gavin Larsen said that they are thrilled to have `world-class` Guptill back in the squad, however, adding that George would continue to push for selection.

“It’s tough on George missing out, but he’ll continue to push for selection and will get further opportunities down the road. Martin is a proven world-class player, so we’re naturally thrilled to have him back in the mix. He and Colin (Munro) have been strong for us at the top of the order,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Larsen as saying.

Meanwhile, the spin duo of Mitchell Santner and Todd Astle has also been retained in the ODI squad against Pakistan.

All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, who missed the series against the Caribbean side and returned to Harare after his father’s death, will continue to remain sidelined.

Grandhomme, who has returned to New Zealand since then, would now play for Auckland and is most likely to make a return for the national side for the last three ODIs against Pakistan.

The five-match ODI series will be followed by three T20Is, which begins on January 22 at the Westpac Stadium.

The New Zealand squad is as follows:

Kane Williamson (capt), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptil, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.(ANI)