WELLINGTON: New Zealand opener Martin Guptill’s faltering Test career appeared to be over Thursday when he was dropped from the Black Caps’ squad for this month’s series against Pakistan.
Guptill was not named in the 13-man squad for the two-Test series after repeatedly failing to showcase his limited-overs form in the five-day version of the game. He was given a final chance on the recent tour of India, but managed only one half century in six innings, continuing his woes against the red ball.
The 30-year-old averages 42.35 in ODIs, but only 29.38 in Tests. His absence means Indian-born batsman Jeet Raval is likely to earn his debut in the first Test against Pakistan beginning in Christchurch next Thursday.
Raval was considered unlucky to miss out on the India tour but chief selector Gavin Larsen said he should thrive in New Zealand conditions. “His (domestic) form in recent seasons has been excellent and the opportunity for Jeet to begin his international career in familiar conditions will be important,” he said.
All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was the other uncapped player named in the squad, while Todd Astle earned a recall four years after his sole Test appearance.
Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jimmy Neesham, Jeet Raval, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.