Martin Guptill's first-class career will be in the spotlight, or more accurately the floodlights, next week.

Guptill will rebrand himself as a middle order batsman, if his hamstrings pass muster after scything 180 off 138 balls to help New Zealand win the fourth one-day international against South Africa in Hamilton on Wednesday night.

Barring excess stiffness, he will bat at No4 for Auckland when they play Canterbury at Eden Park in a pink ball round of domestic Plunket Shield cricket starting on Monday.

The ground will be gauged to see how its facilities handle the prospect of hosting the country's maiden day-night test against England next March.


Elsewhere, Wellington will host Otago at Westpac Stadium and Northern Districts welcome Central Districts to Seddon Park. Each day's play starts at 2.30pm.

Despite his world-class white-ball feats, Guptill has never held a test spot for a sustained period. His last tenure, from May 2015 until October 2016, lasted 16 tests in which he averaged 28.93. He averages 29.38 across his 47-test career. Yet he tops the Plunket Shield averages so far this season at 167.50 from three innings, including two centuries and a 50.

At 30, he will embark on what could be a final chance to rekindle his test dream in the middle order.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said Guptill's match-winning innings at Seddon Park on Wednesday night was "as good as it gets in terms of quality ball striking on a tough surface against top opposition and the pressure of the match".

However, a return at test level remains on hold.

"Martin's confident in his [limited overs] game and has reached a level of maturity where he's consistent and perhaps doesn't ride the highs and lows younger players do. He's comfortable in his skin and batting well.

"Martin and I have talked about test cricket a lot and we certainly gave batting at the top of the order a fairly good crack. The middle order is something we are keen to explore at first-class level first. Martin and Auckland are receptive to that, which is great.

"At the moment, it's difficult to find a spot. Our test team has won four on the bounce and the middle order is performing well."

No5 Henry Nicholls made 53 and 98 in the Bangladesh series.

Guptill told Radio Sport he expected to miss out on the test squad, which is announced today.

"I'd bat wherever - I'd bat at 11 - it doesn't matter."