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Guptill, Patel added to NZ ODI squad

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/02/2017
Martin Guptill © Rajanish Kakade/AP Martin Guptill

Horribly out-of-form and struggling with a new role, Tom Latham's place in the New Zealand one-day international squad is under threat following the return from injury of opener Martin Guptill.

Guptill and veteran spinner Jeetan Patel have been added to New Zealand's squad for the fourth game in Hamilton on Wednesday following the 159-run game clobbering in Wellington which hands the Proteas a 2-1 series lead.

Patel replaces unused seamer Matt Henry, the inclusion of a third spinner reflecting the likelihood slow bowlers will play a big part at Seddon Park, as they did in the opening game last week.

It was always thought a fit-again Guptill (hamstring) would replace stand-in opener Dean Brownlie.

However, Brownlie has been retained in an expanded squad, putting the heat on Latham, whose form has nosedived since being handed a makeshift wicketkeeping role in ODIs.

A duck kick-started New Zealand's capitulation for 112 at Westpac Stadium on Saturday and means Latham has scored 13 runs in his last six ODIs.

A well-performed Test opener, the left-hander may be omitted for the two final ODIs to prepare for the Test series starting on March 8, resulting in a recall for specialist gloveman Luke Ronchi.

Captain Kane Williamson felt for his opener's plight.

"Tom works very hard like all of us and has perhaps been a little unlucky with some of his dismissals and found some fielders," he said.

"That's the nature of the game, and against a very good attack. He wants more runs like the rest of us and is working hard to do so and they will come soon."

Williamson says his team must put their embarrassing defeat - their biggest-ever by runs against South Africa - behind them quickly.

He doesn't expect to encounter the same seam-friendly conditions which were exploited superbly by the visitors.

"In saying that, as a batting unit we want to be much better in terms of sucking up that pressure," Williamson said.

Williamson reserved praise for burly allrounder Colin de Grandhomme, who was New Zealand's best performer with both ball (2-40) and bat (34 not out).

Black Caps squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Dean Brownlie, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Luke Ronchi, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Jeetan Patel, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult.

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