Wellington: A shell-shocked New Zealand have welcomed the return of a fit again Martin Guptill and dropped pace for spin for the fourth one-day international against South Africa.
Along with Guptill, off-spinner Jeetan Patel was recalled to the side on Sunday in place of pace bowler Matt Henry who has been in the squad but not used since the Bangladesh series in December.
New Zealand were stunned by South Africa in the third ODI in Wellington on Saturday — beaten by a comprehensive 159 runs to go down 2-1 in the series — and captain Kane Williamson confirmed “a number of (selection) discussions” were on the cards.
The return of Guptill, who had been sidelined due to injury, would likely be at the expense of out-of-form opener Tom Latham with Luke Ronchi taking back the wicketkeeping duties.
Selector Gavin Larsen said the inclusion of 36-year-old Patel, who will be the third spinner in the squad, was based on the wicket in Hamilton where the fourth match will be played on Wednesday.
“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,” he said.
“We already have two spinners in Mitch (Santner) and Ish (Sodhi) within the squad, but Jeetan provides a different set of skills again. He’s experienced and his quality is well known.”
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Dean Brownlie, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.