Wellington, February 4: Failing to recover from a back injury, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill was on Monday ruled out of the upcoming three-match Twenty20 international series against India, starting on February 6. Guptill had sustained the injury while throwing a ball during fielding practice on the eve of the fifth ODI here after which he was also forced to miss the contest.
The Kiwi opener underwent a fitness test here this morning where he continued to feel pain in his lower back. Later, New Zealand coach Gary Stead confirmed Guptill will miss the series. "Unfortunately Martin hasn't recovered in time for this T20 series - which is very condensed with three games over five days," Stead was quoted as saying by New Zealand Cricket. Martin Guptill Becomes Fastest New Zealand Batsman to Reach 6,000 ODI Runs; Outpaces Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma Among Others: Check List.
"It's a shame as he (Guptill) is obviously a big part of our white-ball sides, but we've got to look at the big picture and ensure he gets the injury right. It's great to have Jimmy coming into the side after some encouraging ODI performances. It promises to be an exciting series," he added. Bowling all-rounder James Neesham, who was earlier left out of the T20I squad, has now been included as Guptill's replacement.