Kiwis keep Guptill, Craig for Sri Lanka Tests

New Zealand

New Zealand's selectors have opted to keep faith in opening batsman Martin Guptill and spinner Mark Craig for the upcoming Tests against Sri Lanka, despite their poor returns in the recent matches in Australia.

The Black Caps named a squad of 12 players for the home Tests this month, dropping four players from the side that played in Oz, but kept Guptill, who made a top score of just 23 in his six innings.

The players who found themselves jettisoned were Mitchell McClenaghan, Matt Henry, Luke Ronchi and Hamish Rutherford, while Mitchell Santner and Neil Wagner were retained. Santner made his debut in the third Test in Adelaide.

Coach Mike Hesson explained: "Mark and Martin didn't perform to the level they would have liked over in Australia, but both have shown in the past what they're capable of and we're confident they'll make valuable contributions in the upcoming series.

"The level of composure Mitchell showed on debut was very impressive and he certainly displayed how exciting a player he is with both the bat and ball.

"His ability to bat in the top six and bowl good overs gives us options and assists the team balance. We're looking forward to watching Mitchell's continued development.

"Neil impressed in Australia and not only showed that he'll run in hard all day, but was swinging the ball again."

The first Test against Sri Lanka starts on 10 December in Dunedin.

Test squad: Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson