New Delhi: There was an air of disappointment when New Zealand opener Martin Guptill was snubbed during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 players' auction. But the swashbuckling will finally play in the world's foremost Twenty20 league, thanks to an injury to Lendl Simmons.
Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the defending champions' IPL match against Kolkata Knight Riders, confirmed that the Kiwi opener will replace the West Indies star.
Guptill, 29, going unsold at the recent IPL auction was one of the biggest talking points of the event. The right-handed batsman was one of the shining stars in the Kiwi camp, which reached the final of 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India.
His based price at the IPL players' auction was at Rs. 50 lakhs.
He entered the tournament as one of the raw talents, who can make of mockery of any bowling attack. But Guptill, somehow, failed to displayed his full range, evenj though he did played couple top knocks against Australia and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Simmons who was part of the MI team which took on Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in the opening match, was replaced by Parthiv Patel for the match against Kolkata Knight Riders today.
The West Indian, just had 48 hours to turn up against India ind the World T20 semi-finals, and he turned up to win the match with the bat.
Guptill's arrival may well serve as a blessing in disguise of MI, which lost to RPS, as they need a steady and consistent start at the top of the innings. And Guptill's quality is known to everyone, even though he is yet to play in the cash-rich tournament.