'Series crucial for World Cup fine-tuning' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 10, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 10, 2019

'Series crucial for World Cup fine-tuning'

Martin Guptill, the opener, has recovered from his back injury and was included in New Zealand's 14-man squad for the upcoming one-day international series against Bangladesh.

Guptill was ruled out of the Twenty20 Internationals against India with an aggravated disc in his lower back, but a New Zealand Cricket release confirmed he had recovered enough to take his place in the ODI squad. He will play the first match in Napier pending a fitness test on Sunday, 10 February.

Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, has been rested for the third ODI of the three-match series – Colin Munro will replace him and open the innings in that game in Dunedin, with Tom Latham, the wicketkeeper-batsman, standing in as captain.

“We're delighted to have Martin back on the park for this series,” said Gavin Larsen, the selector.

“He and Henry did a good job opening up in Hamilton against India and they're a combination we want to see some more of in this series, before Colin returns to the top for the third game with Kane resting.”

The series will give another opportunity to assess Mitchell Santner, who has recovered impressively from a knee surgery last year and played seven of the eight limited-overs matches against India.

He will be one of two specialist spinners, along with Todd Astle, in the squad for the Bangladesh ODIs, with Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham slotting in as pace-bowling all-rounders.

“We've been really pleased with Mitchell's return after a serious knee surgery last year and we'll continue to monitor him through the rest of the season,” said Larsen.

"Jimmy's impressed us with the bat this summer, while Colin's proved what he can do with the ball – especially if it is moving around.”

Larsen added that the series would be crucial in New Zealand's attempts to fine-tune plans ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup.

“It's an exciting time for the players and coaches alike as we look to sign-off our home summer of white-ball cricket,” said Larsen. "Undoubtedly the World Cup is looming large, but we're very much focused on the series ahead and the type of cricket we want to play.”

The ODIs, starting on Wednesday, will be followed by a three Tests in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

Squad: Kane Williamson, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee.

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