Mike Hesson has revealed that Martin Guptill will not feature in the Tests against the Proteas starting in Dunedin on 8 March.
Guptill, who sunk the Proteas with his heroic knock of 180 off 138 balls in the fourth ODI on Wednesday, played his last Test against India in October 2016.
The 30-year-old has played 47 Tests for the Black Caps, averaging at 29.38 and scoring three 100s and 17 50s. This pales in comparison with his much superior ODI record, where he played 142 matches @ 43.98, including 12 centuries and 32 half-centuries.
‘He’s not in the Test side, I think you’ve probably got to look at Martin’s record at the moment and make that decision,’ the Black Caps coach told Radio New Zealand.
‘There’s plenty of examples around the world of players who have been extremely good at one format and not the other, hence there are three different formats.’
He was dropped from the Test squad after last year’s tour of India, where he managed only one half-century in six innings.
If Guptill is to revive his Test career, he might have to ply his trade as a middle-order batsman, and not as an opener as he does for the ODI side.
‘We’ve decided the middle order’s the place for him to push his case,’ said Hesson.
Guptill told Radio Sport that he did not expect to be in the Test side, but would do anything to play red-ball cricket again.
‘I doubt it,’ he said. ‘We’ll see what happens.’
‘I’d bat wherever – I’d bat at 11 – it doesn’t matter.’