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Guptill targets quick return to form

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

Regaining rhythm and getting to grips with a turning Seddon Park wicket are at the top of opener Martin Guptill's wishlist in his return to the Black Caps for Wednesday's fourth ODI against South Africa in Hamilton.

New Zealand must win to keep the five-match series alive after Saturday's 159-run thumping in Wellington left them struggling for momentum at 2-1 down.

Guptill strained his right hamstring earlier this month, and missed the one-off Twenty20 and first three ODIs of the South African tour.

An earlier left hamstring strain meant he missed most of the summer's ODI and T20 series against Bangladesh.

He scored 61 in the opening Chappell-Hadlee ODI against Australia, but re-injured his hamstring and missed the final two matches.

Guptill says the focus in his time off has been less on batting and more on regaining strength in his hamstrings.

"It's a bit frustrating, but at the end of the day injuries happen in sport, and I'm back now and looking forward to getting amongst it."

Guptill is confident it won't take long for him to rediscover his best.

"You spend time in the middle, and things sort of click - you find that rhythm and you find that momentum, and you keep that momentum going as long as you can."

While the expectation is that the Seddon Park wicket will favour spin, Guptill isn't over-thinking his approach.

"Hamilton does have a tendency to be slow and take a little bit of turn, so you've just got to get your head around that and adapt as quickly as you can," he said.

"It's hard to plan a day out - the only way you can really adapt is once you get out there, face a few balls, and get a feel for the wicket.

"It's just about pulling back, and making sure you play the ball a bit later. You've just got to make sure you're playing the right lines."

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