New Zealand wait on Tim Southee, Martin Guptill fitness ahead of Pakistan series
Tim Southee's knee injury has kept him out of the latest round of the Plunket Shield. @Getty

The vital pair of Tim Southee and Martin Guptill will not feature in the latest round of domestic cricket ahead of New Zealand’s departure to the UAE next week, giving rise to questions over their participation in the upcoming series with Pakistan.

As many as eight members of New Zealand’s likely Test squad will feature in round two of the Plunket Shield from Wednesday, which offer the selectors time to gauge player form and fitness ahead of the away series comprising three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests from October 31.

Southee is still recovering from a knee injury while Guptill is set for scans on a suspected left calf strain, according to reports in the New Zealand media. Southee sat out Northern District’s Plunket Shield opener and will now play a 50-over game for his side’s A team against Auckland A on Wednesday. The Black Caps will hope that Guptill’s situation is under control ahead of the tour of the UAE, which begins with the first T20I in Abu Dhabi to mark the team’s return to international cricket after seven months.

Among the Test players turning out for their respective state sides from Wednesday are the opener Jeet Raval, fast bowlers Adam Milne, Matt Henry and Neil Wagner, the allrounder Colin de Grandhomme, batsmen Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls and Ish Sodhi, the legspinner.

Trent Boult is slated to miss the T20I leg of New Zealand’s tour as he awaits the birth of his first child. Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson have opted to sit out the latest round as they seek to stay fit for the UAE tour.