Martin Guptill might not take field against India after injuring his toe in his side's match against Pakistan in Sharjah on Tuesday. Guptill, who took a blow to the toe from a Haris Rauf delivery before being dismissed by him, is not feeling comfortable according to New Zealand coach Gary Stead.
New Zealand played their opening fixture of the T20 World Cup 2021 on October 26 versus Pakistan and lost by five wickets. Batting first, openers Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell scored 36 runs for the opening wicket. New Zealand ended up on a total of 134/8 at the end of the innings. Mitchell was the highest run-scorer for the team with an innings of 27 runs from 20 balls. Guptill scored 17 runs from 20 balls but he suffered a toe injury before being sent back to the pavilion by Haris Rauf. Rauf was the pick of the bowlers dismissing four batsmen for 22 runs.
Giving updates on the injury of Guptill, the coach of the New Zealand cricket team Gary Stead has stated that "Guptill was looking in a little bit of discomfort at the end of the match" and the next 24 to 48 hours will be decisive.
"We'll see how he scrubs up overnight. He looked in a little bit of discomfort at the end of the game and it might take 24 to 48 hours to see how he goes,” he stated.
The injury comes as yet another massive blow for the Kiwis, who have earlier lost the services of Lockie Ferguson on Tuesday. The pacer was ruled out of the tournament after MRI scan result hours before Pakistan clash revealed grade two calf muscle tear. New Zealand has named Adam Milne as his replacement in the squad. Stead expressed his disappointment as International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Technical Committee had not approved Adam Milne as a replacement in time so that he can play against Pakistan.
"We tried pretty hard today to get across the line with the ICC our replacement player, but it wasn't to be.That was really disappointing for us because Adam Milne is someone who's waiting in the wings as a like-for-like replacement. We'll seek clarification on that decision of theirs," he revealed.
Defending the target of 135, New Zealand were looking in control when they bagged five wickets for a total of 87 runs. But Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali stitched a match-winning partnership of 48 runs for the team. With the win, Pakistan are now placed at the top of the points table in their group and are most likely to make it to the semi-finals with their healthy net run rate and some easy fixtures ahead.
Sharing his views about how the group has played out so far, Stead said that Pakistan are now hot favourites to be the number one seed, and the rest of the teams are fighting for second place.
"You would imagine that Pakistan are now the hot favourites in our group to be the number one seed and the rest of us are fighting it out for the next spot, which makes the India game pretty critical.You sometimes have to lose one to find out the important things for you. If we can go and beat India then we certainly put ourselves back on the right track,” he opined.