Guptill keen to fire again

Guptill keen to fire again

Martin Guptill may have scored a mere 73 runs in four innings against India in the two Tests but the right-hander is best known to take it to the opposition rather than sit back and play the waiting game.

The first of the two T20 internationals to be held here at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA stadium on Saturday night will give the lanky 25-year-old a chance to do exactly that.

With 817 runs from 31 matches at an average of 34.04 and a strike rate of nearly 126, the Kiwi is one of the better performers in the ultra-abridged version and his second rank on the ICC T20 International Rankings is a testament to that.

“For me to remain in the top three, it requires me to score some runs or keep on scoring,” said Guptill on Thursday. “I intend to do just that in the coming couple of matches, and hopefully, carry that form into World T20 in Sri Lanka. I’m trying to perform well for New Zealand. If I can do that, then the team will prosper in this tournament.”

The T20 internationals come on the back of the Test series, which India won 2-0, and with barely a week’s time between the two drastically different formats, the players will have a tough time adapting to the situation.

“That change is a part and parcel of international cricket now. Each individual on the team has his own way of preparing for the different format. I’m sure all the guys are already going through with their preparations and we’ll be ready for the match on Saturday,” said the Kiwi.

Further explaining the format and how the Kiwis would match up to the Indians in the T20s, Guptill said: “It’s more of an aggressive mindset. It’s more about fours and sixes rather than the patience of Test cricket. I think everyone is looking forward to that. With our aggressive batting line-up, we should be able to prosper in this series.”

Apart from an array of T20 specialists in the Indian squad who threaten the Kiwis’ hopes in the series, the one other thing New Zealand will be wary of is the venue itself. The ACA-VDCA has played host to a handful of one-dayers and not yet hosted a T20 international, even though the scenic venue provides one of the best batting wickets in India.

“To most of the guys in the team, this is the unknown. Not many guys have played here. Brendon (McCullum) may have played a couple of games here but overall it’s a whole new experience for the team,” he concluded.

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