Martin Guptill will drop into Auckland's middle order in a bid to regain his place in New Zealand's test team.

Having been dropped from the openers' job for the home international summer, Guptill, desperate to get back in the squad, is hoping to force an argument for a middle order position.

Tom Latham and Jeet Raval have opened in the four tests this season - Raval having marked his debut with two half centuries and an average of 33 - and with only three tests against South Africa to come this summer, the door to be an opener appears shut on the tall Aucklander in the short term.

"I've had a couple of conversations with [national coach] Mike Hesson about the best way for me to look at getting back in the test team," Guptill said.


"We both came to the conclusion that maybe having a crack in the middle order was the best way forward."

With captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor having a lock on Nos3 and 4, and an allrounder filling No6, it leaves Henry Nicholls' No5 spot as the logical target.

Guptill could get a maximum four Plunket Shield games in his new role before the end of the season.

The 30-year-old is no stranger to the middle order. He played three successive tests at No5 against Bangladesh and Australia in February/March 2010.

The result: 343 runs at 68.6 including his best test score, 189, and three 50s. That century stand was part of a then record sixth-wicket partnership against all countries, 339 with captain Brendon McCullum, since overtaken by Williamson and BJ Watling's 365 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 2014-15.

There have been three tests at No3, 177 runs at 35 between 2009 and 2011, a duck in one innings at No4 in India in 2010; and a miss against England at Leeds in 2013, one and three, batting at No6, which was his last test before a two-year absence from the side.

"That move [to No5] went pretty well back then," Guptill said. "Mike's thinking is if I am to try to make the middle order spot I have to play a couple of matches before they would consider it.

"I guess the beauty about cricket is you can never say never. The door is certainly not closed on me opening the batting. It's just another option of trying to get back in the test team."

Auckland coach Mark O'Donnell is happy to fit Guptill into a new role. He also made it clear he admires Guptill's determination to get back into test cricket.

"It would be the easiest thing to say 'I'll go and play T20 cricket or white ball cricket'. That's not him at all," O'Donnell said.

"He's desperate to get back in the test team and for us it is viable. We can fit him in easily."

His conversations with Hesson have been positive but the first order of business is to get back into the limited-overs side against South Africa, which starts with a T20 at Eden Park on Friday next week.

Guptill is recovering from a strained hamstring, and he has more physiotherapy and a run tomorrow.

He's unlikely to be available for Auckland, should they make the Ford Trophy playoffs this weekend, but is a chance to play the warmup T20 game against South Africa next Wednesday.

Turning his back, even if temporarily, on opening was a straightforward decision for Guptill, when he considered the bigger picture.

"I just want to play test cricket and be involved in the team and have those special moments when we win test matches and contribute to them when I can. I've got to put numbers on the board for Auckland and get that experience so I'm pretty focused on that."