Dubai [UAE], Feb 4 (ANI): Seam-bowling all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has made it to the New Zealand T20I squad that will take on India as opener Martin Guptill has been ruled out after sustaining a back injury.
The three-match T20I series will begin on February 6 at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
Guptill picked up the injury during fielding practice ahead of the final ODI and underwent a fitness test in Wellington. However, he continued to feel pain in his lower back.
"Unfortunately Martin has not recovered in time for this T20 series, which is very condensed with three games over five days," ICC quoted New Zealand coach Gary Stead, as saying on Monday.
"It is a shame as he is obviously a big part of our white-ball sides, but we have got to look at the big picture and ensure he gets the injury right.”
The opener will return home to Auckland for rest and recuperation with a hope he regains fitness in time for the series against Bangladesh next week. Guptill has been one of the most consistent performers in the white-ball formats for his country. He has amassed a world record 2272 runs at an average of 33.91 in 76 T20Is.
On the bright side, hosts New Zealand called up Neesham as Guptill’s replacement. "It is great to have Jimmy coming into the side after some encouraging ODI performances. It promises to be an exciting series," said Stead.
New Zealand and India will lock horns for the first T20I of the three-match series at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on February 6. (ANI)