There's no secret recipe which has made Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson among the most successful T20 opening combinations in cricket.

The numbers tell the story, and they have eclipsed some impressive duos, including Australians david Warner and Shane Watson, Indians Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and Guptill himself with former captain Brendon McCullum.

"I guess we just feed off each other," Guptill said ahead of New Zealand's third pool game at the world T20 tournament, against Pakistan in Mohali early tomorrow morning (NZT).

"One day one of us will get off to a flier and the other plays second fiddle. It's working for us at the moment and we're just trying to keep doing the same things."


In their last seven T20s - two against Sri Lanka, three against Pakistan and the first two at the world event, the pair have rattled up 494 runs at an average of 70.

The highlights have been their world best 171 not out against Pakistan in Hamilton in January to set up a 10-wicket win, the 89 off only 6.4 overs against Sri Lanka at Eden Park, and the 101 against Sri Lanka in 10.5 overs in Mt Maunganui.

Batting has been a battle so far in the tournament.

Slow, spinning pitches have made life challenging for batsmen in New Zealand's first two games, in which they managed 126 for seven, then 142 for eight against India and Australia respectively.

They rolled India for 79 and Australia came up short, despite looking strong early on.

Coach Mike Hesson has high praise for the batting efforts in trying circumstances.

"The bowlers have got plenty of plaudits but I think the batsmen have done an excellent job on the surfaces we've played on. One hundred and forty on that [Dharamsala] surface was always going to be challenging, and in the first game I was really pleased with the batting on such a difficult surface," Hesson said.

His philosophy on the batting approach is simple.

"You've just got to do the best you can, rather than necessarily always get to a certain score. You've just got to get enough."

Mohali might be different tomorrow, with suggestions there may be more cause to make more use of the seamers. It does seem peculiar - although clearly the right decision so far - to have New Zealand's best bowlers, Trent Boult and Tim Southee, wearing the non-playing bibs beside the boundary rope.

A third straight win will lock New Zealand in for a semifinal spot.

The opening axis

• Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson have the second highest aggregate among T20 opening pairs, with 933 from 17 innings, at an average of 58.31, behind only Australians David Warner and Shane Watson's 1154 from 37 innings, at a far inferior 31.18.

• Their three century stands are level top with Indians Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and Warner and Watson for any wicket.

• Their 171 unbroken opening stand against Pakistan in Hamilton in January is the highest stand in T20 international cricket.