26 Feb 2017

Black Caps make changes following heavy defeat

5:01 pm on 26 February 2017

Selectors have responded to the Black Caps' ignominious loss to South Africa in Wellington by calling up batsman Martin Guptill and spinner Jeetan Patel.

Seamer Matt Henry has been dropped from the squad without having played in the first three matches of the five game series.

Martin Guptill evades a short pitched delivery during his innings of 61 in the opening Chappell-Hadlee ODI.

Martin Guptill evades a short pitched delivery during his innings of 61 in the opening Chappell-Hadlee ODI. Photo: Photosport

The Black Caps were crushed by 159 runs in the third one-dayer in Wellington, with the Proteas making 271 before bowling the hosts out for just 112.

The Proteas lead the five-match series 2-1.

Selector Gavin Larsen said it was pleasing to have Guptill back in the squad after he recovered from a hamstring injury.

"We've been cautious bringing Martin back, but we're excited to have him available for the remainder of the ODI series," said Larsen.

"He brings power to our top order and his white ball record speaks for itself."

Larsen acknowledged the decision to bring in Patel was based on what previous Hamilton pitches had shown.

Jeetan Patel celebrates a wicket during the 3rd ODI against Bangladesh.

Jeetan Patel celebrates a wicket during the 3rd ODI against Bangladesh. Photo: Photosport

The Wellington spinner has played 40 ODIs since 2005 and last played for the Black Caps against Bangladesh at Saxton Oval in Nelson on December 31, 2016.

"We saw in the opening ODI that Seddon Park had something in it for the spinners and we want to be well-covered should it be a similar situation this time around," said Larson.

"We already have two spinners in Mitch and Ish within the squad, but Jeetan provides a different set of skills again. He's experienced and his quality is well known."

Guptill's return creates something of a selection conundrum for Hesson, with Tom Latham likely to relinquish the gloves to specialist wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi for the rest of the series.

Mike Hesson (L) and Tom Latham.

Mike Hesson (L) and Tom Latham. Photo: Photosport

Even though he has proved more than capable behind the stumps, Latham has scores of 0, 2, 0, 0, 7 and 4 in his past six ODIs and Guptill is likely to open with Dean Brownlie in Hamilton.

"There's no doubt Tom has struggled the last little while," Hesson said.

"He's come off a great series in India where he was our best player and he hasn't quite reached those heights yet."

A squad for the fifth ODI will be named following the Hamilton match.

- Reuters, RNZ

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