Martin Guptill returns to Black Caps for Pakistan ODI series




The Black Caps will call upon a near full-strength squad for their upcoming one-day series against Pakistan, with big-hitting opener Martin Guptill returning to the fold but all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme still unavailable.

The star batsman is yet to feature this summer due to a hamstring injury.
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Guptill missed the Caps' ODI clean sweep of the West Indies last month with a hamstring issue but has since returned for the sides' Twenty20 series.

He'll likely open the order against Pakistan, alongside Tom Latham or Colin Munro, with Kane Williamson returning to his regular first-drop position.

George Worker has missed out altogether.

Elsewhere, Tim Southee and Trent Boult will likely lead the bowling attack, aided by the inclusion of two spinners in Todd Astle and Mitch Santner.

Kiwi selector Gavin Larsen didn't rule out playing both simultaneously, with Astle producing the goods against the Windies and Santner a team regular.

"Todd made the most of his opportunity against the West Indies and made a strong contribution with both bat and ball," Larsen said.

"Mitchell has been one of our most consistent white-ball bowlers for a long time now, seen by him being ranked in the top 10 ODI bowlers in the world."

Zimbabwe-born all-rounder de Grandhomme, meanwhile, remains unavailable to the Caps after going on bereavement leave last month.

He'll play T20 Super Smash for Auckland on January 7.

The Kiwi squad will convene on Friday in Wellington before playing the first ODI at the Basin Reserve on Saturday, and then in Nelson next Tuesday.

They'll round out the ODI series in Dunedin on January 13.

BLACK CAPS: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Mitch Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

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