New Zealand have called up opening batsman Martin Guptill (who has recovered from a hamstring injury) for the fourth One-Day International game against South Africa at Hamilton on Wednesday, alongside off-spinner Jeetan Patel and wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi.
The decision came after the hosts were bundled out for just 112 in 32.2 overs in the third ODI, to go down 2-1 in the five-match series.
“He’s [Tom Latham] come off a great series in India where he was our best player and he hasn’t quite reached those heights yet. It’s good to have Martin back to give us some options at the top,” Kiwis’ coach Mike Hesson was quoted as saying by Stuff.co.nz.
The 30-year-old Auckland born Guptill last played an ODI against Australia, where he scored 61 on January 30 before being ruled out of the second and third ODI of the Chappell-Hadlee series.
“It’s more about the strength of the hamstring and the running at top speed,” Hesson added.
The 36-year-old Wellington born spinner Jeetan has also been inducted into the squad after he was one of the panel members for a radio commentary at home for the ongoing series.
He last played an ODI against Bangladesh at Nelson on December 31, 2016.
According to Kiwi coach Mike Hesson, the 35-year-old Dannevirke-born Ronchi is expected to takeover the gloves from Tom Latham in the must-win game. Ronchi is likely to bat at number five.
“Whether we go with the two allrounders which we have done, and slot Luke in a little higher, we’ve got options we’d like to explore,” Hesson remarked.
In 76 ODIs, Ronchi has amassed 1,206 runs. He has taken 97 catches and affected 10 stumpings so far.
“We talked at the start of the series about giving both keepers [Latham and Ronchi] an opportunity. We’ve given Tom the first three so Luke’s likely to get an opportunity there,” Hesson said.
In Wellington, New Zealand lost the third ODI by 159 runs which was also their heaviest defeat in terms of runs against the Proteas in ODIs.
“In Hamilton we adapted pretty well last time and we’ll have to do the same again,” Hesson concluded.
New Zealand Squad For Fourth ODI: Kane Williamson (C), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Dean Brownlie, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Jeetan Patel, Ish Sodhi