New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has backed his opening partner Brendon McCullum to stay at the top of the limited-overs order following talk that the wicketkeeper-batsman may be shifted.
Captain Daniel Vettori last week hinted that McCullum could be used in the middle order to close off innings and take advantage of the batting powerplay, and pointed to the lack of big scores from the big hitter as reason to do so.
However Ryder, who is currently undergoing rehabilitation on an abdominal injury, believes he and McCullum have a good record and deserve to be kept together.
"I think he should stay up there and I don't see why people are saying put him back to seven because the records show that we do pretty well together up the top of the order," he told tvnz.co.nz.
"It's not very often that we fail as a partnership and at this stage I think it's been really good."
Ryder and McCullum have registered five partnerships worth a century or more in 19 innings together, and the left-handed Ryder feels they work well as a combination.
"It's good for both of us because our personalities combine well when we bat with each other out and he really is a calming influence on me," he said.
Ryder is hoping to return to action before Christmas, while his absence is likely to mean that McCullum is kept as an opener during New Zealand's one-day series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.