Guptill dropped from Kiwis Test squad against Pakistan

Wellington [New Zealand], Nov.10 :New Zealand opener Martin Guptill has been left out of the 13-man Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan, which starts from November 17 at Hagley Oval.

Guptill seemed to have dropped from the squad in the wake of his recent mediocre performances in Tests.

The opener managed to score just 393 runs at an average of 24.56 with two fifties in his last nine matches.

Uncapped batsman Jeet Raval and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme have been brought in the squad, while all-rounder Todd Astle, who played his only Test match four years ago, has also been named to face the Misbah-ul-Haq-led side.

Raval, who was in the squad for New Zealand's Test tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa earlier this year, will come in place of Guptill at the top of the order.

Reflecting on Raval's inclusion, New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said that the batsman had been performing well in recent times and, therefore, the upcoming series would provide him with a great opportunity to begin his international career.

"Jeet has been in the picture for a while now and he benefitted from spending time in the environment during the tour of Africa.

His form in recent seasons has been excellent and the opportunity for Jeet to begin his international career in familiar conditions will be important," Larsen was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Astle and de Grandhomme have been included for their consistent performances in domestic cricket, with the former named as the only specialist spinner in the Test squad and is set to come in as cover for all-rounder Mitchell Santner, who fractured his wrist recently.

Doug Bracewell, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi and Ish Sodhi, who all were part of the unsuccessful India tour, were also excluded for the upcoming series.

"Luke, Martin, Doug miss out this series, but we know that they and the others who miss out will continue to work hard on their game and get the chance to continue staking a claim in the domestic competition," Larsen stated.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Santner, Mark Craig, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Colin Munro and George Worker were not considered for selection due to their respective injuries.

The New Zealand squad for two-match Test series against Pakistan is as follows: Kane Williamson (captain), 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.

Source: ANI