New Zealand opener Martin Guptill has been sidelined for six weeks with a hamstring injury and will miss the start of the IPL season, New Zealand Cricket confirmed today. It has come as a setback for the Kings XI Punjab, who shelled out a cool Rs 50 Lakh for him in the IPL auction last month.
In the last week of February, Guptill had suffered a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the first three ODIs of the recently concluded series against South Africa. Making a return in the fourth game of the series, the Kiwi opener smashed a match-winning 180 off 138 balls but complained of soreness in both hamstrings at the end of the series.
Due to the recurring injury, Guptill won't be available for selection in the opening weeks of the IPL and his recovery will be closely monitored by New Zealand physio Tommy Simsek, who will also be at the tournament with him.
Simsek said, "At the moment Martin isn't fit to play and the time we give him now to strengthen his hamstrings will play a big role in mitigating future risk too," reported Cricinfo.
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Kiwi coach Mike Hesson said that the team needs to have Guptill fit for the upcoming Champions Trophy in June.
He said, "Having Martin fully fit is critical, as we all know the positive influence he has on our side. Martin knows this is an important period to get back to 100% so that he can be fully confident when he is in the park. The Champions Trophy isn't far away and we obviously want Martin firing on all cylinders for that tournament."
Guptill, who was dropped from the Test squad after the India series was supposed to replace Ross Taylor in the Test squad against South Africa after Taylor, too, sustained a calf injury.