Black Caps' batting lineup might be a closed shop for now, but Grant Elliott won't stop trying to force his way in.
The New Zealand Cricket-contracted Wellington batsman had been a fixture in the Black Caps' one-day side, playing in the home and away series against England, before touring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. But he hasn't been required against the West Indies and India and it's difficult to see him getting a look in for now.
Cricket's a funny game though, and if something should happen to Kane Williamson or Ross Taylor, Elliott believes he's ideally placed to come in and play the type of innings' those two have in this series win over India.
"That was my role when I was in the team, to try and take it deep and try and strike at 80 per cent and play low risk cricket," Elliott said.
"I've let myself down in a couple of innings', where I've got to that point where I've done the hard work and haven't kicked on and got to a hundred or an 80 or 90. The guys that are doing the job at the moment have been excellent and Corey [Anderson], the finishing that he's given to the team and the firepower of Brendon [McCullum] and the guys that follow has been great too.
"Ronchs [Luke Ronchi] has done really well, who I'm pleased for, because we all knew he was a huge talent."
But Elliott's adamant there's a place for him in the team, particularly at next year's World Cup.
"Definitely, that's what I'm playing for. I'm playing more so for white-ball cricket," the 34-year-old said.
"I don't think I'll play a test again. If I do I think I'd need to get a mountain of runs in the next year, but I've had success in white-ball cricket and it would be awesome to play in a World Cup on home soil and it would be a great way to sort of be close to finishing your career."
The emphasis Elliott has placed on trying to succeed at limited overs level has seen him under achieve in the four-day stuff.
Elliott averaged 20.77 in last summer's Plunket Shield and his 105 in Wellington's draw against Auckland last weekend took his aggregate for this summer to just 167 runs.
Still, the Auckland hundred did his confidence the world of good and the goal now is to kick on from that, when Wellington meet Central Districts in Napier from today.
The second-placed Firebirds have batted well this summer, but struggled to bowl teams out.
Elliott said the attack had been "challenged" to rectify that, and need to, if Wellington are to keep their title hopes afloat.
- Fairfax Media
Which batting pair would be best at opening in ODIs for the Black Caps?