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Cricket: Guptill gets chance to hit hoodoo

Martin Guptill averages 21.78 against Australia. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Martin Guptill averages 21.78 against Australia. Photo / Mark Mitchell

In-form opener Martin Guptill's enigmatic ODI cricket record could hold the key to New Zealand success today.

The Aucklander is prolific at his Eden Park home ground, averaging 64.88 at a strike rate of 85 in 12 innings there. His love affair with the ground was established early, becoming the first New Zealander to score a century on ODI debut against the West Indies in 2009.

Conversely, he has struggled in 15 innings against Australia, averaging 21.78 at a strike rate of 69. It is the lowest of his ODI averages against test-playing countries. His highest score of 64 not out came at a Brisbane washout seven years ago.

Combining those two statistical strands makes assessing the Black Caps' opener's chances today a difficult task. He has scores of 18, 30 and 11, the latter coming in New Zealand's pool match at last year's World Cup.

Former Australian cricketer Mike Whitney talks to D'Arcy Waldegrave and Goran Paladin on The Sauce:

However, this should be a different Guptill to that which last donned the black pads against Australia.

At times this summer, and over the past year, he has batted with a liberty which suggests he's unaware there are three stumps to protect and 11 fielders to avoid. The hitting has been cleaner than an operating theatre, with Guptill wielding his bat like a scalpel to bisect fields.

Last year, he scored the most ODI runs of any cricketer - 1489 at 55.14 and a strike rate of 97 from 32 innings. This year, in four matches, the trend continues, scoring 222 runs at 55.50 and a strike rate of 100.

His overall 42.78 ODI average is the fourth best of any New Zealander to play 20 innings or more, behind Kane Williamson, Glenn Turner and Ross Taylor. Yet, his averages against test-playing countries, Australia, South Africa (22.07), India (33.50), Sri Lanka (38.23) and Pakistan (39.81), dip below that mean.

Today presents a chance to rectify.

Contrasting Martin Guptill's ODI record:

vs Australia
Innings: 15
Average: 21.78
Strike rate: 69
High score: 64 not out (at Brisbane, February 2009)

at Eden Park
Innings: 12
Average: 64.88
Strike rate: 85
High score: 122 not out (v West Indies, January 2009, on debut)

Career
Innings: 123
Average: 42.78
Strike rate: 86
High score: 237 not out (v West Indies, Wellington, March 2015)

- NZ Herald

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