Memo to India's T20 powerbrokers: think again when it comes to Martin Guptill.
That was the message from veteran batsman Ross Taylor, after New Zealand had raced to its third consecutive win in the World T20 in India.
Man of the match Guptill drove New Zealand to victory at Mohali with 80 from 48 deliveries. The Aucklander is enjoying a great run of form in the short form cricket, is the third highest run scorer in T20 internationals, has an excellent average and strong strike rate, and is one of the game's most prolific six hitters.
Taylor told RadioSport's The Crowd Goes Wild: "There's always talk he can't play spin...this was a nice reminder to those IPL owners what they are missing out on. He showed what a world class player he is."
Ross Taylor talks to the Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast
Match centre with scorecard, wagon wheel and Manhattan/Worm
Guptill was overlooked twice in the IPL auction last month, the only listed marquee player to miss out. Almost all the teams were well stocked in terms of established opening pairs, with only Delhi Daredevils having a vacancy there.
But there has also been a growing caution amongst IPL teams about spending money on foreign players especially if they were not guaranteed regular game time. And the questions around Guptill's ability against spin won't go away.
ESPN's CricInfo match review team of former international batsmen, Indian Sanjay Manjrekar and Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene, immediately weighed in predicting Guptill would get a quick IPL call-up.
"The impressive thing is he has done it over and over again...he gets a good start in the first six overs and kicks on. It gives them a great platform," Jayawardene said of the Kiwi opener.
Jayawardene added: "Even if a (IPL) fast bowler is injured they might replace him (with Guptill)."
Manjrekar said Guptill's straight bat meant he didn't miss many deliveries, and could score all around the ground.
"This guy is a proper player, not a T20 basher. There is an injury waiting to happen in the IPL and Guptill is the quick replacement," said Manjrekar.
Taylor meanwhile warned that New Zealand's final group opponents Bangladesh should not be taken lightly.
"We've had our troubles against Bangladesh on these turning wickets before and and Kolkata is a wicket that can turn quite a bit...we're hoping to take some momentum into the semifinal," he said.
Coach Mike Hesson is delighted with the progress so far, as New Zealand looks towards playing England or South Africa in the semifinals.
Mike Hesson talks to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking:
"To have three wins is better than we could have dreamed of," Hesson told NewstalkZB's Mike Hosking.
"We've adapted to conditions perhaps better than in the past...we've picked teams accordingly and changed our tactics a bit which has certainly worked well.
"We've given ourselves a chance but with T20 if you don't front up on the day you get rolled over."