Martin Guptill's rousing form against Australia of late makes him arguably the most significant New Zealand batting figure in the Chappell-Hadlee one-day international cricket series starting at Eden Park on Monday.

Usually that accolade would sit with the captain Kane Williamson. Senior man Ross Taylor might have a say in that argument. But at the very least it's a subject which would make for a quality debate.

Guptill's numbers, and especially his recent form against Australia, makes encouraging reading.

Although his overall ODI average against Australia sits at 33.9 - slightly below Williamson's 36.57 and Taylor's 36.54 - his form against the transtasman rivals since the start of last year suggests he has no shortage of self-belief.


In that period, Guptill has had a run of 90, 31, 59, 114, 45 and 34 - 373 runs at 62 - against Australia.

He has just returned to playing for Auckland in the Ford Trophy, and on Wednesday marked his comeback from a hamstring strain with 112 off 95 balls, his share in an Auckland opening record 208 with rising talent Glenn Phillips to help beat Central Districts at Eden Park.

"It's great," Guptill said of his injury. "I didn't feel it once yesterday, which was extremely pleasing. I'm looking forward to the step up in intensity."

Williamson, ranked No5 in the ODI game, is New Zealand's champion batsman; Taylor, at No16, the most experienced and fit to rank among the alltime finest the country has produced.

But Guptill, ranked eighth, relishes white ball games. Only Nathan Astle (16) and Taylor (15) have scored more ODI tons than his 11. He has five players ahead of him on one-day aggregates - Stephen Fleming (8007 runs), Astle (7090), Brendon McCullum (6083) and Taylor (5826) - and only Taylor, at 43.15, has a superior ODI average.

His 114 off 102 balls at Sydney last month was an outstanding demonstration of his talents in a losing cause and gave Australia something to think about. "That was a magnificent innings," purred Australian coach Darren Lehmann.

"You have to be confident against them [Australia], otherwise you're behind the game as soon as you walk out there," Guptill said.

"You've got to know what you can do, stick to your game plan, and I probably haven't done that enough against them in the past.

"In the last couple of series I've had a bit more success trusting myself a bit more and enjoying my cricket more.

"That's the key, just keep doing what you've been doing."

Guptill doesn't go along with any notion that this series represents a chance to avenge a 3-0 beating before Christmas across the Tasman.

"I don't think that's how we play our cricket. We were a bit off in Australia and we know that.

"The challenge for us is to learn from that, come back lot stronger and do our skills to best of our abilities."

ODI record



Runs: 5169

Average: 42.36

Centuries: 11

Fifties: 31

Strike rate: 86.84