Colin Munro has turned his future around in the space of the last few months.

His absence from Sunday's final T20 against Pakistan with what's been called a ''minor'' hamstring is a setback for the pugnacious lefthander, but seems not to be rated serious.

Munro's place has gone to veteran middle order batsman Ross Taylor, who certainly won't be a like-for-like opening replacement alongside Martin Guptill.

Read more: Colin Munro ruled out of third Twenty20 against Pakistan


It wasn't that long ago Munro's future appeared to lie in the razzle dazzle world of the T20 leagues around the world. That's now changed, at least for now.

In eight T20 matches this season, having sought and been offered the chance to reinvent himself as an opener, Munro has clattered 396 runs off 230 balls, averaging a cracking 66.

That includes two rollicking centuries — 109 not out against India in Rajkot off 58 balls early in the season, and 104 against the West Indies off 53 at Mount Maunganui at the start of the New Year.

He is the first batsman anywhere to complete three international T20 centuries.

His confidence is high, the middle of his bat is broad and he is unquestionably a major asset for New Zealand this season.

Next up is the T20 tri-series against England and Australia, starting with game against the Aussies in Sydney on February 3.

There's optimism in official quarters that Munro should be ready to be named in the squad on Monday.

''Colin picked up a minor injury during the match at Eden Park and with a busy schedule coming up, we want to make sure he gets it right before getting back on the field,'' New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said today.


''At this stage we are optimistic he'll be available (for Sydney).''

There are several candidates to go in first with Guptill tomorrow with wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips and captain Kane Williamson by a distance at the top of the list.

Philllips has decent experience there while Williamson, who made a first ball duck in Pakistan's 48-run series-levelling win at Eden Park on Thursday night, has opened in 26 of his 45 T20s, averaging 39.86 in them, compared to his overall mark of 33.58. He's made six half centuries going in first.

Munro will be welcomed back, though, with a five-game ODI series against England still to come. He has scored 369 runs off 301 balls this summer, averaging 33.

But it's a change which New Zealand don't want, given Pakistan ended their record-setting winning run stretching back over the whole season, and have given themselves a chance of taking a chunk of success back home with them next week.

On the evidence before last night, you wouldn't have given them much chance of doing that. Suddenly the series has shifted on its axis.