Before the last World Cup, almost every New Zealand cricket writer had suggested that Martin Guptill should be dropped. His form was so woeful that people were suggesting ways that he might get injured so that someone else might get a turn. He responded to that criticism by being the top run scorer at that World Cup and going on to score truckloads of runs over the next couple of years - to the point that he was labelled by one South African cricket writer as part of New Zealand's trinity of batting gods (alongside Taylor and Williamson).
Since that World Cup, he's averaged over 50, with a strike rate just under 100. He has been consistent also, averaging over 50 and scoring at least one century against every opponent except England and India in that time.
Guptill is also one of the better fielders in the world, covering a wide expanse of the park all by himself. His extraordinary acceleration is even more remarkable given that he is missing some toes on one foot after a forklift incident when he was younger.
The trademark shot from Guptill is the look down lofted drive. He's found that when hitting straight, if he keeps his head down (like a golfer) he can hit the ball more consistently, so when he's trying to hit a ball for six, he doesn't lift his head to see where it's gone. Instead, he just holds the pose, confident his power will be sufficient that he won't need to run.
England has been a place where he has experienced a degree of success, both playing as an overseas professional in domestic cricket, and in tours for New Zealand. His 189 not out at Southampton in 2013 is an innings that few who saw it will ever forget. Another innings or two like that and New Zealand could be in for some big victories.
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