Struggling Black Caps opening batsman Martin Guptill has received the backing of arguably his biggest fan – popular broadcaster and wife, Laura McGoldrick – following stinging criticism after another batting failure at the World Cup.
Guptill was dismissed for 1 by Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah as New Zealand crawled to 211-5 in 46.1 overs, before rain halted the knockout match at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Ross Taylor (67*) and Tom Latham (3*) will continue the innings tonight (NZT) on a batting surface that wasn't as conducive to strokeplay as was expected.
Guptill, the Black Caps' leading run scorer at the 2015 World Cup, has had a nightmare tournament with the bat – managing a paltry 167 runs in 9 innings, including two first-ball dismissals.
McGoldrick, who is in the UK covering the tournament, says while her husband has not performed to the standard expected, it's not for a lack of trying.
"A lot of boys were very nervous this morning when they got on the bus [to Old Trafford]. Guppy was nervous but excited but unfortunately, things didn't go the way Guppy would have liked. It's not for a lack of trying. He's worked incredibly hard but unfortunately that's just the way sport goes sometimes," McGoldrick told The Hits.
"It's very hard, especially when you're opening and you have to see off the new ball bowlers and India have some the best new ball bowlers in the world.
"Bumrah, who got Gup in the end, is the best in the world. I mean, he canters in. He looks like a horse when he runs in. I don't know how anyone can see the ball. It's quite an action."
Guptill has been heavily criticised for his lean run of form with social media exploding overnight with images of him in the New Zealand dressing room, shortly after his dismissal against India.
In an international career spanning more than a decade, Guptill has learned to deal with disappointment, but the arrival of the couple's daughter, Harley, 2, has helped.
"I think having a child really helps, she really helps Gup. We take our cues from Gup, sometimes he wants to talk about the game and sometimes he doesn't. I'm certainly not going to bring it up if he doesn't want to talk about it. He knows what he needs to do and it's no good me harping on about what I think he should do. I've never played international cricket so it would be pretty rich for me to have a go in trying to help," McGoldrick said.
"You just have to love and support him. Put your arm around him and go, 'You know, it's going to be okay'. And it is going to be okay. My husband is one of the best in the world and I think I'm allowed to say that and I'm not totally biased."