New Zealand kept the injured Martin Guptill in their roster named on Sunday for the upcoming Twenty20 series against Australia, but has put this season’s breakout star, the limitless Finn Allen, on standby. A renowned big-hitting opener and veteran of 94 internationals, 34-year-old Guptill had a disappointing streak of form in five games against the West Indies and Pakistan in December, when he averaged just 17.
In the New Zealand domestic league, his average was a low 11.5 before missing the last two rounds with a hamstring injury, while 21-year-old Allen ripped away with 512 runs to an impressive 56.88.
New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said the games against Australia, number two, were “an important step” in the run-up to the World Cup in India later this year and if Guptill fails a fitness test when the team meets in Christchurch on Friday, he will be replaced.
“Martin is our seated opener and our highest T20 International run scorer, so we support him to do the job at the top, but he will have to prove his fitness and it’s good to know we have a replacement in Finn on standby. , ”said Larsen.
“Finn has been in great shape and he is certainly an exciting talent.”
There is a settled look for the rest of the team where wicketkeeper Tim Seifert will also open the at bat with captain Kane Williamson in number three.
Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman will continue in the middle order after a strong start to the international season.
Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Hamish Bennett form the tempo bowling quartet, with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi the spinners and Jimmy Neesham the all-rounder.
The opening game against Australia is on February 22 in Christchurch.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.
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