New Zealand’s in-form opening batsman Martin Guptill will miss the first three matches of South Africa’s tour after suffering a hamstring injury, officials said on Wednesday.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said Guptill strained his hamstring during training and was out of this Friday’s one-off Twenty20 international against the Proteas in Auckland.
He will also miss two of the five one-day internationals in South Africa’s busy touring schedule, which includes three tests.
Rather than call up the vastly experienced Ross Taylor for the T20, the Black Caps instead turned to uncapped 20-year-old Glenn Phillips.
Chief selector Gavin Larsen said the South African-born Aucklander had shown outstanding domestic form and was an exciting prospect.
“He bats with power, has shown he can clear the rope, and gets a deserved opportunity to showcase his skills on the international stage,” Larsen said.
Dean Brownlie will replace Guptill in the first two ODIs.
Brownlie was considered unlucky to miss out on the ODI squad in the first place after a strong performance against Australia and Larsen said he was the logical replacement for Guptill.
New Zealand and South Africa have only played 14 T20 internationals, with the Proteas victorious in 10 of them.
They arrive in New Zealand as the world’s top-ranked one-day team after winning their last 11 one-dayers, including 5-0 clean sweeps against Australia and Sri Lanka.
They also have added motivation against the New Zealanders after the Black Caps ousted them from the 2015 World Cup in a dramatic semifinal in Auckland.
Guptill’s pain is Glenn Phillips’ gain:
Glenn Phillips will become the 73rd New Zealander to play a Twenty20 international if the weather co-operates when the Black Caps meet South Africa in a one-off series appetiser on Friday night.
The 20-year-old was explosive with the bat after making his T20 domestic debut as a wicketkeeper and opener for Auckland during the McDonald’s Super Smash. He scored the 369 runs—the most in the competition—at an average of 46.12 and strike rate of 143 from 10 innings, including one century and three half-centuries.
“It was the biggest call of my life,” Phillips said of his chat with selector Gavin Larsen on Tuesday evening. He comes in for Auckland teammate Martin Guptill.
He has not been lumbered with expectation in preparing to debut against the country of his birth. Born in East London, Phillips’ family immigrated to New Zealand when he was five.