Cricket World Cup: Martin Guptill having a ‘bloody tough’ time avoiding social media during lean run
Martin Guptill averages 20.98 at the 2019 Cricket World Cup. © AFP

From being the leading run-getter at the 2015 World Cup to averaging under 21 at the 2019 edition, Martin Guptill has experienced contrasting emotions during New Zealand‘s run to the final of both tournaments.

Four years ago, Guptill amassed a tournament-high 547 runs at 68.47 which featured the first double-hundred by a New Zealand player in ODI cricket. Across nine innings in England this summer, he has tallied 167 runs at 20.87 with a solitary half-century, which came in the Black Caps’ opening match in Cardiff on June 1. Since then, he has not crossed 35, has three single-digit scores and two ducks.

But Guptill has left a mark on New Zealand’s World Cup campaign, nailing a sensational direct hit to run out MS Dhoni in the first semi-final at Old Trafford this week, a pivotal moment in an 18-run win that put the perennial underdogs in their second consecutive final.

(ALSO READ: New Zealand’s road to Lord’s final)

“When it first came off the bat, I thought it went straight up, so I didn’t really move straight away, and then I thought, ‘I gotta go here’,” Guptill told 1 NEWS Sport. “So, I let the handbrake off. To be able to put the final nail in the coffin was pretty exciting.”

martin guptill ms dhoni
Martin Guptill ran out MS Dhoni with a deadly throw at Old Trafford. © AFP

That moment of brilliance gave Guptill a rare moment of personal joy, for it came after a wretched run of form with the bat.

“I have always put in a lot of time in. For it not to be working out in the middle, it’s frustrating,” he said of his lean run. “People can say they were frustrated with me, but no one is as frustrated as what I am.”

(ALSO READ: Rejuvenated New Zealand are back on the prowl)

Guptill admitted that trying to stay off social media during the World Cup was not easy, though he wanted to avoid reading criticism.

“There’s just no point. They don’t know what you are going through,” he said. “It’s bloody tough. You try not to read what people are writing, and hear what people are saying, but it’s hard to get away from it. The hard work [behind the scenes] probably goes unseen.”

New Zealand’s batting coach Craig McMillan was hopeful that Guptill’s run out of Dhoni would revive his batting ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final against England at Lord’s.

“He hasn’t had the World Cup he would have wanted,” he said. “It was great to see a smile and some hugs around Gup, because he’s been doing it tough. I think that will flow into his batting and give him some confidence.”