Guptill back to take on Pakistan

01 January 2018 21:38:08 GMTPlus11

George Worker was the man to miss out when New Zealand announced their squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan.

Worker made way at the top of the order for Martin Guptill, who missed the one-dayers against West Indies due to a hamstring injury.

Guptill returned to action in the opening T20I against the Windies on 29th December and the selectors were always likely to restore him to the side to take on Pakistan if he regained his fitness.

He's been included in the 13-man squad for the opening two games of the five-match series, which starts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Saturday.

Worker was the Black Caps' top scorer in the first of the three ODI wins against West Indies and made half-centuries in both Whangarei and Christchurch before missing the final match.

Returning to domestic cricket on Saturday, he then blasted 75 off 38 balls at Pukekura Park in a Super Smash outing for Central Stags in a loss to the Knights.

He's shown selector Gavin Larsen he'll remain in the mix as a strong squad continues to be moulded towards the 2019 World Cup.

Larsen said: "It's tough on George missing out, but he'll continue to push for selection and will get further opportunities down the road."

Speaking of Guptill, he added: "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."

The squad to take on Pakistan features two spinners in all-rounders Todd Astle and Mitchell Santner.

New Zealand are 9.00 to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup, while the Black Caps are 8.00 to win the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup.

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