Cricket World Player Of The Week - Martin Guptill
For scoring the highest individual score in the World Cup of an unbeaten 237 in 163 balls, and that too in a knock-out game, Martin Guptill is our Cricket World Player of the Week.
Guptill walked into the World Cup with average form. Yet, right from the first innings against Sri Lanka, he has shown a genuine willingness to contribute to the team’s best chance in winning the elite tournament.
Guptill came into his own scoring back-to-back tons, the first one scored under pressure against Bangladesh. Yet, it was the second one that has made headlines, coming as it did in the World Cup quarter-final.
Guptill’s 237 was studded with 24 fours and 11 sixes. The next highest score in that innings was by Ross Taylor and he didn’t even reach a half-century. That was Guptill’s impact in an innings, where he managed to score 92 runs in just 32 balls in the last 10 overs, brutally hitting Andre Russell’s bowling to all parts in the 48th and 50th over.
Some of his sixes were gigantic too, one measured at a whopping 110 meters, probably one of the biggest sixes hit in the game.
Guptill wasn’t the only hero for New Zealand in the quarter-final.
While Chris Gayle showed his ominous form, he was undone by the loss of wickets from the other end. Boult’s first over was a wicket-maiden accounting for Johnson Charles but it was the double wicket maiden in the 10th over of the innings, including the wicket of Marlon Samuels that almost ended the West Indian spirit.
Rohit Sharma’s 137 off 126 against Bangladesh was another knock of maturity, of wisdom, of skill and temperament over flash.
Rohit anchored the innings through a tough phase when wickets were falling around him and Bangladesh was squeezing out the runs. Yet, he ensured that he didn’t throw his wicket away, inflicting carnage in the death overs against all Bangladesh bowlers.
In the same game, Umesh Yadav’s figures of 4-31 represented everything that has stood out about Indian bowling - pace, skill, discipline and ability to bowl to the plan.
The Australia - Pakistan contest was the tightest World Cup quarter-final, Pakistan making it hard for Australia to chase down a really small target. Two spectacular bowling performances stand up in memory when we think of the Adelaide quarter-final.
Josh Hazlewood, picked directly for the quarter-final instead of Pat Cummins who has proved expensive in the earlier games, repaid faith of the think tank with figures of 4-35 that ensured Pakistan never ran away with the game.
He was a clone of Glenn McGrath, hitting the line and length consistently, making it impossible for any batsman to break the jail. Hazlewood was the classic fast bowler, picking wickets at the top, in the middle and again towards the end.
However, Hazlewood’s figures were overshadowed by probably one of the greatest fast bowling spells in the World Cup. Wahab Riaz’s spell of 2-54 hardly reflects the magic he conjured.
He picked the prized wickets of David Warner and Michael Clarke with Clarke’s wicket almost bought with pace and bounce.
However, Wahab was let down by his teammates Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan who dropped two important catches, one of Shane Watson and another of Glenn Maxwell which cost Pakistan the game and Wahab, a place in cricketing folklore.
© Cricket World 2015