As a cricketer, there are often times when you know you have performed decent enough but you could have had a few more. And then there comes a year when everything sets nicely for you, the ball kisses the middle of the bat more often than having a crony relationship with the edge of the stick. Seldom a player comes across a year when he looks in a league above the others, when scoring runs becomes almost intermittent, there is no team that escapes the wrath of his ascendance and he looks to compete with his own records, the experts often tell you that these are the times that helps you wade through you lean patches and Martin Guptill seems to have one of such years.
It is very difficult to catch the eye when you bat beside the likes of Brendon Mccullum and Kane Williamson but the Auckland lad has certainly predisposed crowds and experts with his truculent style yoked with his astonishing consistency. He has scored more runs than anyone else this year and a double century in the apex tournament of cricket can only be a cherry on the top. Having lost three fingers of his one foot at the age of 13, the cricketing future for the young Auckland prodigy looked somber, but the lad’s assiduousness only made his talent pervade through the cricketing circuit of New Zealand and earned him a call from the national side in 2009. And Guptill announced himself with a 122 to his name on the debut itself.
Though Guptill continued to blow hot and cold in the coming years , the fact that he was one of the most outstanding fielders in the New Zealand side ( and that’s a huge compliment considering we are talking about New Zealand) and a handy opener, meant that he continued to earn the trust of the selectors. And then in 2013, when the New Zealand toured England, Guptill made a point to flaunt his batting skills and show the world that he certainly was one of the most perilous openers in the limited over format. He went on to score 330 in 3 innings and equaled the record of Sir Viv Richards for the most number of runs in an ODI on the England Soil during his belligerent knock of 189.
And since then Guptill has been in the form of his own, not only has he amassed copious amount of runs under his belt, the rate with which he goes about his innings completely takes the game away from the opposition. Time and time again Guptill goes on breaking records mocking his critics and only getting better of his previous best. It has been a delight to see him bat in recent times as he goes about his business mellifluously and collects boundaries at will. He has the record of scoring fastest fifty for the black caps in the ODI’s getting better of his skipper’s record and in the process taking New Zealand to fastest team fifty coming of just 16 balls. And this was not it, he went to score the fastest fifty for New Zealand in T20s coming of just 19 balls but could only hold the record for 20 minutes as young Colin Munro got better of the veteran scoring his 50 in just 14 balls.
Now it’s not only about coming out and scoring quick runs. The fact that makes Guptill’s talent so discernible is because of how he has a direct impact on the outcome of the game. When you have openers like Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum, they make sure that they dominate the opposition from ball one and this suffuses sanguineness in the dressing room irrespective of the situation. It allows the likes of Williamson and Taylor to come in and bide their time and play their natural game. This makes the likes of Guptill more revered in the dressing room as they take the responsibility of usurping the opposition rather than targeting their personal milestones. Not many in the world can be asked to do it and this very spirit with which Guptill has played the game, makes him lionized in the international circuit.