New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Former New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor said if it was up to him, he would have brought veteran opener Martin Guptill in the top four of the ODI side ahead of this year’s World Cup, citing the experience he would bring to the team for the mega event.
Guptill, widely considered as one of New Zealand’s best-ever white-ball openers, last played in an ODI for the Blackcaps in September 2022. Later, he was released from his NZC central contract after being dropped from the white-ball series against India last year not getting to play a single game in the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Since then, he has been busy playing various T20 leagues like the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia. Guptill’s tally currently stands at 7346 runs at an average of 41.73 in 198 ODIs, with a highest individual score of 237 not out.
“At the moment, you’re going to have a top four that has never played a game at a one-day World Cup, so for me Martin Guptill should be there. Say it’s Conway, Guptill, Will Young at three and Daryl Mitchell at four.”
“I don’t think that’s the way the selectors and (Gary Stead) Steady will go but I think going into a World Cup with no one in the top four ever having played a match is a risk,” Taylor was quoted as saying by SEN Radio.
After losing an ODI in Pakistan 4-1, main discussion for New Zealand is around filling the void at number three with regular skipper Kane Williamson likely to miss out due to an ACL injury to the right knee sustained while fielding for Gujarat Titans on day one of IPL 2023.
New Zealand don’t have ODIs scheduled until September when they tour England, coming just a month before going to India for the ODI World Cup. Taylor also felt that Williamson’s injury has also left the door open for either of Will Young, Devon Conway or Daryl Mitchell to bat at number three.
“I think there’s only three options. You either have Will Young who’s had some success there against Sri Lanka and a couple of hundreds against Holland. Move Devon Conway down to three, give him a little bit of protection knowing that the ball does swing early on in India as seen currently in the Indian Premier League.”
“Or what’s happened in Pakistan recently where Daryl Mitchell got two hundreds batting at three. Whoever does bat three has got to get the majority of the runs throughout the whole tournament and bat the majority of the balls as well,” added Taylor.