Guptill, Craig retained for Sri Lanka series

Martin_Guptill-getty-1200The Black Caps have named a familiar Test side to take on Sri Lanka in a three-match series later this month.

All 12 players selected played a role in the Australia series, with coach Mike Hesson backing Martin Guptill and Mark Craig to perform after poor showings across the Tasman.

“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,” Hesson said.

Hesson also praised allrounder Mitchell Santner who made his Black Caps debut in Adelaide, replacing Jimmy Neesham who was ruled out of this series with injury.

“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.”

Matt Henry, Luke Ronchi and Hamish Rutherford are all due to return to their domestic sides with Neil Wagner earning his way into the team, and a spot in the President’s XI warm-up match.

“Neil impressed in Australia and not only showed that he’ll run in hard all day, but was swinging the ball again,” Hesson said.

“We think it’s a strong squad, but equally we’ve got a group of players on the fringe of selection who are ready to be called upon if necessary.”

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

President’s XI: Ryan McCone (captain), James Baker, Joe Carter, Joel Harden, Shawn Hicks, Tim Johnston, Ken McClure, Matt McEwan, Glenn Phillips, Bharat Popli, Ben Smith, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner. (Courtesy