Senior opener Martin Guptill is back in business.

The clean-hitting Auckland batsman returns to the New Zealand squad for the T20 series against the West Indies, while Anaru Kitchen is likely to make his debut during the series.

Guptill has been sidelined by a hamstring strain since late last month but is now ready to return.

He effectively replaces George Worker from the ODI squad. Worker and Colin Munro impressed in the first ODI in Whangarei on Wednesday and put on another 50 at quick pace in the second game of the series at Hagley Oval today.


Lefthander Worker has made half centuries in both ODI innings against the Windies.

Guptill and Munro were the openers on New Zealand's tour of India at the start of the season and this is a chance to reunite an explosive combination at the top of the order.

Kitchen has been around the first-class scene since 2008-09, has racked up 10 first-class centuries and averages 38.78. More relevantly, the 33-year-old has a T20 strike rate of 123.6 in his time with Auckland and Otago.

He is a classic case of a player being given an opportunity as the national selectors canvas all options with thoughts turning towards events such as the World Cup in 2019 in England.

"When you add Anaru Kitchen to the likes of Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Glenn Philips and Tom Bruce, there's a lot of threats throughout the batting line-up,'' selector Gavin Larsen said.

"Anaru has performed superbly for Otago the past couple of seasons and with his ability to bowl as well, he brings a lot to the side."

Bruce has won the selectors' confidence as a short form operator and hits a long ball, while Phillips has a big future and took the gloves on the recent Indian tour.

Kane Williamson will sit out the first match of the series, with Tim Southee to lead New Zealand at Saxton Oval in game one.


Trent Boult is having his turn for a short break and returns for the third match in Mt Maunganui.

Ross Taylor fills in for game one in Williamson's absence.

Legspinner Ish Sodhi, whom coach Mike Hesson rates among the first names pencilled in for T20 selection, returns with Todd Astle dropping out from the ODI squad.

New Zealand T20 squad: Kane Williamson ©, Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor (first game only), Glenn Phillips, Anaru Kitchen, Tom Bruce, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Trent Boult (third game only).

Williamson will play the second and third matches; Southee will captain New Zealand in the first match.

Dec 29: first T20, Nelson
Jan 1: second T20, Mt Maunganui
Jan 3: third T20, Mt Maunganui.