Alastair Cook praises 'special' Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill scored a New Zealand record 189 not out to help his side take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series against England © Getty Images

Southampton: June 3, 2013

After surrendering their near four-year unbeated record in home one-day series to New Zealand by going 0-2 down in the three-match series, England captain Alastair Cook praised Martin Guptill‘s “special innings” and rued his batsmen not converting their starts into big scores.

“It was obviously a tough day [for us],” Cook said.

“Huge credit to the way Guptill played — 190 (actually 189) in a one-day game is a very special innings. He made us pay, and what was impressive was he always managed to find the right option at the right time,” the left-handed opener added.

England’s batsmen were always up against it, although had Trott found a reliable partner they might have got closer to their imposing victory target of 360.

Jonathan Trott, who dropped Guptill on 13, made an unbeaten hundred of his own but lacked support as England replied with 273 all-out.

“Trotty’s was an outstanding hundred, and we needed those 30s or 40s at a lot less than a run-a-ball to turn into 50s and 60s to give ourselves a chance,” said Cook.

England, as was the case at Lord’s, were without injured first-choice seamers Stuart Broad (knee) and Steven Finn (shin).

Given the series is now lost, it seems unlikely either paceman will be risked at Trent Bridge and there must be doubts about whether they will feature in the Champions Trophy, especially as England begin the defence of the Ashes against Australia — still the pinnacle of the sport as far as English cricket is concerned — in July.

In their absence, England’s bowlers at Southampton suffered and none more than Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach, whose 10 wicketless overs cost 87 runs.