Martin Guptill, New Zealand Hero


Auckland’s Martin Guptill walked out onto Eden Park at midday a stopgap solution to Jesse Ryder’s drinking problem, and walked off a bit over three hours later to a well-deserved standing ovation. The 22-year-old carried his bat for 122 not out at a strike rate of better than 90, and entered a bunch of record books in the process.

His innings was the second-highest score on debut of all time, beaten only by a man named Desmond Haynes’ 148 against Australia in ’78. Not to detract from Haynes’ remarkable innings, but it was made against an Australian side decimated by the Packer crisis, with 9 debutants. Guptill blew past Fleming’s 90 against India on debut, and snuck past Nathan Astle’s 118 to be the biggest score by a New Zealander against the West Indies. It was the fifth highest score by a New Zealander carrying their bat in all one dayers. But it was the style which really made it gleam.

We had a pretty good year for new entrants to the side, with Southee, Ryder, Flynn and MacIntosh all looking solid in their starts in 2008, but none can rival Guptill’s innings. He batted with a cool head, starting fast, turning over the strike regularly through the middle stages, didn’t lose sight of his gameplan when key wickets fell at the other end, and closed out magnificently. Plus the unflinching approach to his century, and the brutal audacity to hit the previously economical Gayle for a monstrous six to bring it up speaks volumes about the kid.

All we have to do now is pray the weather keeps away and we get an official game here. I’m typing this about 500m from eden park, and the sky’s dark and air thick with humidity, but it doesn’t have that cloudburst feel either. Fingers crossed, because that was one of the best one day innings I’ve seen, in its context, and deserves to stand as such. Martin Guptill, DeadBall agrees entirely with the terraces worshipful stance.


– Duncan



Filed under Cricket, Miscellaneous, News

8 responses to “Martin Guptill, New Zealand Hero

  1. limpydaddle-dingwadder

    Just a minor issue. I wouldn’t say he was the ‘stopgap’ for Ryder since he was selected to bat at three before Ryders booze binge. Sinclair was probably this, and thank the lord he did not score any runs so he can go back to beating up our first class bowlers. People who winge about Sinclair need to look at his international stats in the last few years- pretty crap. He was also given a long stay in the side last summer and continually failed. HE HAS HAD ENOUGH CHANCES.

    I think our batting future is actually looking rosy what with the two newbies today plus Watling and Kane Williamson surley not too far away. Also if Trent Boult keeps developing he could be lethal. Also he has an excellent fast bowlers name.

    What chance Guptill now as an opener alonside Mcintosh for the Indian series? Guess the one dayers aginst Oz will sort this out.

  2. I know he was picked to replace How, but he walked out as a stop gap, rather than our next opening batsmen… Anyway, it’s a semantic quibble, and I agree that our batting stocks look uncommonly deep. If the youths can maintain their stellar starts then we might be in better shape than anyone would’ve thought after the great exodus of the late Bracewell era. If only the bowling cupboard weren’t so bare…
    On Sinclair, I’m one of those guys who defend him to a point. I always felt like the run he got in the NZ side was pretty rough, arbitraily dropped and selected on a whim, when a guy like Craig McMillan could go into seemingly endless troughs reedeemed by the occasional score, and always maintain his place. Their one day averages are nearly identical, yet McMillan played nearly four times as many games. Surely it wasn’t his bowling that kept him in the ODI side? All that being said, I wouldn’t have Sinclair anywhere near my team.

  3. limpydaddle-dingwadder

    Yeah well Mcmillans another story altogethor. I think he was given the benefit of the doubt for far too long but if you look at the styles and attitudes of the two players Mcmillan scoring a quick 30 down the order could boost the innings significantly while a slow 29 from Sinclair would only set it back. Mcmillan could sometimes do the impossible (re: Game against Oz when we won, being40-4 or something on the back of his assault) wheras Sinclair would only ever do the possible.

    Looks like we need to get Gayle out fast. Did we bat too slowly in the middle overs?

  4. Yeah you’re right, at least McMillan did whatever he was going to do quickly, and did play incredible innings just frequently enough to keep him in the side, much to my irritation at the time. I guess I just have an irrational soft spot for Skippy, I watched the entirety of his test debut innings, which scarred me towards him, I think.
    I’m really bummed that the match was abandoned, but apparently Guptill keeps his stats, which is great, as that was a once-in-a-generation debut knock. Ultimately if the mood struck Gayle he could have won that game single-handedly. I can’t say I’d have minded too much. He is one of the coolest players in world cricket.

  5. limpydaddle-dingwadder

    Watching Sinclair during that double ton seemed like a ‘new dawn’ and then he got another one against SA (?) a few years later. His Stats in tests though recently are awful. Since 2004 he has had 16 innings and averages under 20. He played five tests in a row against Bangladesh and then three against England, which, with those kind of figures, shows plenty of faith by the selectors. His record against Australia is I think, seven tests average below 15.

    Macca’s ODI average was about the same as Sinclairs but he had a better test average too (38) and played far more matches. For most of his career his test average was above 40 and only dropped at the end of his career after the selectors showed the faith he had probably earned with such a decent record.

    He was abit of a plonker though going to the IPL and saying it was for ‘Family reasons’ when it was clearly for the money.
    Anyhow thats enough. I must move on with life.

    Final question: Why can’t we have reserve days for one dayers? What is the big problem?

  6. limpydaddle-dingwadder

    Thats 38 not 3 smiley face. Only very special players get those.

  7. Pingback: Rating the Also-rans « DeadBall

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