Martin Guptill likely not the field against India after injured his toe in his side’s encounter against Pakistan in Sharjah on Tuesday. Guptill, who took a blow to the toe from a Haris Rauf delivery before being dismissed by him, is not feeling comfortable according to New Zealand coach Gary Stead.
New Zealand played their opening encounter of the T20 World Cup 2021 on October 26 vs Pakistan and lost by five wickets. Batting first, openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell made 36 runs for the opening wicket. New Zealand finished up with a total of 134/8 at the end of the innings. Mitchell was the best run-scorer for the squad with an innings of 27 runs off 20 balls. Guptill got 17 runs from 20 balls but he sustained a toe injury before being sent back to the pavilion by Haris Rauf. Rauf was the standout of the bowlers dismissing four batters for 22 runs.
Giving updates on the injury of Guptill, the coach of the New Zealand cricket team Gary Stead has noted that “Guptill was looking in a little bit of discomfort at the conclusion of the match” and the following 24 to 48 hours will be important.
“We’ll see how he cleans up in the morning. He seemed in a little bit of discomfort at the conclusion of the game and it could take 24 to 48 hours to see how he goes,” he remarked.
The setback comes as yet another big blow for the Kiwis, who had already lost the services of Lockie Ferguson on Tuesday. The bowler was ruled out of the tournament after MRI scan result hours before Pakistan meeting indicated grade two calf muscle damage. New Zealand has picked Adam Milne as his substitute in the team. Stead voiced his dismay as International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Technical Committee had not cleared Adam Milne as a substitute in time so that he can play against Pakistan.
“We tried quite hard today to go across the line with the ICC our substitute player, but it wasn’t to be.
That was incredibly frustrating for us because Adam Milne is someone who’s waiting in the wings as a like-for-like replacement. We’ll seek clarity on that choice of theirs,” he disclosed.
Defending the mark of 135, New Zealand were looking in control as they secured five wickets for a total of 87 runs. But Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali stitched a match-winning combination of 48 runs for the squad. With the win, Pakistan are currently placed at the top of the points table in their group and are most likely to make it to the semi-finals with their good net run rate and some easy matchups ahead.
Sharing his opinion about how the group has played out so far, Stead noted that Pakistan are currently hot favourites to get the number one seed, while the rest of the teams are competing for second place.
“You would expect that Pakistan are now the hot favourites in our group to be the number one seed and the rest of us are fighting it out for the next slot, which makes the India game quite vital.
You sometimes have to lose one to find out the vital things for you. If we can go and defeat India then we surely put ourselves back on the right track,” he remarked.