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January 8, 2009
New Zealand batsman Jamie How has been dropped from the squad for the last two ODIs of the five-match series against West Indies following his extended run of poor form. Martin Guptill, the 22-year-old right-hand batsman who plays for Auckland, has been called up as a replacement.
Allrounder Jacob Oram, who limped off the field with an Achilles tendon injury after bowling two overs in the third one-dayer in Wellington, was also excluded from the squad.
How disappointed in his last three ODI series, scoring 105 runs at an average of 21.00 in the five-match series in England last year, and 80 at 21.33 in Bangladesh. In the current series against West Indies, he has managed only 27 runs in two matches. Glenn Turner, the head of New Zealand's selection panel, said How will have the opportunity to return to domestic cricket, "and hopefully find the form we know he's capable of."
Guptill, on the other hand, has scored 965 runs at an average of 38.60 in 28 List A games. He is currently fourth on the batting charts in the State Shield, New Zealand's domestic one-day competition, with 207 runs at a strike-rate of 103. He also finished the highest scorer in the 2007-08 State Shield.
Turner said Guptill was included due to his consistent form. "Martin really impressed on the tours to Australia and India last year with the Emerging Players and New Zealand A," he said. "He's continued that form this summer - since coming back from injury at the start of the season he's had a couple of great knocks including 124 off 97 balls for Auckland against Northern Districts, and 58 from 66 balls against Otago on Monday."
The one-day series between New Zealand and the West Indies is level at 1-1. The two remaining matches will be played in Auckland on Saturday and in Napier on Tuesday.
Squad: Daniel Vettori (capt), Neil Broom, Grant Elliott, Daniel Flynn, Mark Gillespie, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (wk), Kyle Mills, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.
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