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New Zealand have opted to retain opening batsman Martin Guptill and spinner Mark Craig for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka despite their poor performances in the recently concluded series against Australia.
In the three-Test series against Australia, which included the first-ever day-night Test in history, Guptill only managed to score 82 runs in six innings at a dismal average of 13.66. Craig meanwhile claimed eight wickets at an average of 64.12 and conceded just over five runs an over.
“Mark and Martin didn’t perform to the level they would have liked over in Australia, but both have shown in the past what they’re capable of and we’re confident they’ll make valuable contributions in the upcoming series,” New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said.
Left-arm pace bowler Neil Wagner and all-rounder Mitchell Santner both kept their places even though the former did not feature in any of the three Tests.
All-rounders Corey Anderson and James Neesham were not considered for selection as they are both recovering from back injuries.
“The level of composure Mitchell showed on debut was very impressive and he certainly displayed how exciting a player he is with both the bat and ball,” Hesson said. “His ability to bat in the top six and bowl good overs gives us options and assists the team balance. We’re looking forward to watching Mitchell’s continued development. Neil impressed in Australia and not only showed that he’ll run in hard all day, but was swinging the ball again.”
New Zealand Test squad: Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson