Blessing in disguise? Mumbai Indians name Martin Guptill as replacement for Lendl Simmons - Firstpost
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Blessing in disguise? Mumbai Indians name Martin Guptill as replacement for Lendl Simmons

New Zealand's opening batsman, Martin Guptill will replace injured Lendl Simmons in the Mumbai Indians squad for IPL 2016, coach Ricky Ponting confirmed on Wednesday.

Lendl Simmons suffered an injury to his lower back, which is similar to the injury that forced him to pull out of the West Indies squad for the 2016 ICC World T20, reported ESPNCricinfo

New Zealand’'s Martin Guptill celebrates after scoring a double century. AP

File photo of New Zealand’'s Martin Guptill . AP

This will be Guptill's first taste of the cash-rich IPL.  But the opening batsman has featured in the Caribbean Premier League where he was appointed the captain of the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the 2016 edition.

Guptill has been in fantastic form for New Zealand and was the highest run-getter in the 2015 World Cup with 547 runs. However, the he was ignored by IPL franchises in the auction that happened in February, despite being listed as one of the marquee players with a base price of INR 50 lakh.

Martin Guptill will have big boots to fill after Simmons was Mumbai Indians' best batsman in their run-in to the title in 2015. Simmons racked up 540 runs in 13 matches with a strike rate of 122.41 and finished the season with six half centuries to his name.

Guptill will be yet another addition to the list of big-hitters in the Mumbai Indians line-up with Jos Butler, Kieran Pollard and Corey Anderson already in the mix.

The New Zealand batsman confirmed his move to the IPL on Twitter, expressing great excitement to be the part of the defending champions.

Mumbai Indians play newcomers Gujarat Lions at the Wankhede stadium in their next game in the IPL on Saturday.


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