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Guptill out of Pakistan series with calf injury

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Martin Guptill had to be withdrawn from New Zealand’s ODI and T20I squads to face Pakistan later this month owing to a left calf strain. The 32-year old opener picked up the injury while preparing for a first-class game with Auckland this week and is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks.

New Zealand face Pakistan across three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests starting from October 31. Guptill was named in both white-ball squads and has long been one of the team’s senior players, providing fast starts at the top of the order. He made a 49-ball hundred against Australia in a T20I at Eden Park in February.

“Unfortunately for Martin it will take him some time to get over this injury,” selector Gavin Larsen said. “And, with a long summer ahead, we need to make sure we minimise the risk of him repeating it.”

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The tour of the UAE will be Gary Stead’s first as head coach of the New Zealand team. They are already missing a first-choice pick in Mitchell Santner, who is still recuperating from a long-term knee injury. Central Stags left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel was brought into the Test side as his replacement, while Ish Sodhi will shoulder the burden during the ODI and T20I leg of the tour.

New Zealand’s A team are set to arrive in the UAE in early October to play a few matches and, based on performance, two members from that squad were meant to be drafted into the senior team. Now, with Guptill unavailable, another spot has opened up.

“Gary Stead and I will work through the possible replacement options,” Larsen said. “We now have three spots to fill in the T20 and one-day squads.”

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