Martin Guptill Biography
It sounds almost absurd that Martin Guptill, who had lost three toes as a result of a forklift accident, is hailed as one of the finest contemporary fielders. Batsmen around the world hesitate to complete that elusive second run when Guptill swoops on the ball around the fence.
Guptill’s pull, often reminiscent of Kapil Dev’s famous “Nataraj” shot, is one to die for. The ball need not be short; it simply needs to rise to the desired level, enough for Guptill to raise his front leg and pull it ferociously, controlling it sufficiently to place it anywhere between mid-on and fine-leg.
Playing against West Indies at Eden Park in 2008-09, Guptill had become the first New Zealand batsman to score a hundred on his ODI debut. Over four years later he slammed 189 not out against England at Rose Bowl — still the highest score by a Kiwi in the 50-over format.
In T20Is, too, Guptill’s performances have been phenomenal. He became only the second New Zealand batsman to reach a thousand runs in the shortest format, and has ruled Twenty20 cricket across the world — but, curiously enough, never in the Indian Premier League.
Despite his talent, Guptill has never been able to establish himself in the longest format, largely because of his dual-minded approach to batting: he fluctuates between the ethereal and the rigid, often getting bogged down by a self-inflicted defensive approach and throwing his wicket away.
When on song, however, few are as delightful to watch.