Wellington: New Zealand opener Martin Guptill has been called in the 13-man squad for the opening day-night Test against England, beginning at the Eden Park in Auckland.
The 31-year-old, who smashed a crucial 73-run knock for New Zealand XI against England XI in a practice match in Hamilton on Friday, has been added to the squad as a batting cover for injured Ross Taylor.
However, it should be noted that Taylor has been progressing pretty well after aggravating the thigh injury he suffered during his game-changing 181 not out in the fourth ODI against England.
Reflecting on Guptill’s inclusion, national selector Gavin Larsen said that the former will give the squad more depth, while he also provided an update on Taylor.
“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,” Larsen said.
“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,” he added.
Guptill, who had struggled at times during the side’s home 3-2 defeat to England in the ODI series, has 47 Test caps to his name, but he played his last match in the longest format of the game during the tour of India in October 2016.
The New Zealand squad is as follows:
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.