New Zealand's Ronchi returns for South Africa series

The hosts named 14-man squads for the T20 match and the first two ODIs.

On the decision to omit Colin Munro from the one-day squad, Larson said the big hitting batsman had paid the price for inconsistency. In the T20I series against Bangladesh, he smashed 101 off 54 balls but it was sandwiched between two scores of 0.

BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen said he's been happy with the form of the Twenty20 squad.

"Colin hasn't quite shown the consistency he would like in the middle order and we feel Neesham is deserved of an opportunity with the bat at six", said Larsen.

"The New Zealand A guys got washed out in Nelson (prior to start of Pakistan test series earlier this summer) also".

Apart from the return of Guptill, Luke Ronchi also makes a comeback from a groin injury and will take the place of back-up wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and Ish Sodhi has also managed to retain his place along with Dean Brownlie.

The Kane Williamson-led side will play the one-off T20I against South Africa in Auckland on February 17 before heading into the five-match ODI series starting from February 19 at Seddon Park, Hamilton. "There's a lot of experience, but you also have the likes of Bruce, Wheeler and Ferguson who have made bright starts to their global careers", he said. Taylor, who is incidentally the third-highest run scorer for New Zealand in T20Is, hasn't made it to the national side since the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, 11 months ago.

Ross Taylor, who again missed selection for the Black Caps T20 squad, Henry Nicholls, Neil Broom, Matt Henry, Tom Bruce, Todd Astle and the returning Adam Milne were all in the NZ XI squad.

Larsen stated that the presence of the worldwide players for the warm-up game is necessary.

"We've named a really strong side for the match, which should be a tough contest and allow a few of our players the opportunity to get a first look at the South African team".

  • Julie Sanders