Win over Pakistan was payback, says Guptill
Mumbai: New Zealand opener Martin Guptill on Friday said that his team`s comprehensive victory over Pakistan in their earlier Group B World Cup clash was sweet revenge for the ODI series defeat suffered against the same rivals recently at home.
"That`s a good one (110-run victory against Pakistan) for us. Its kind of payback for the defeat back home. That`s a good one and under different conditions than we are used to. We are looking forward to the next couple of games," he said here ahead of his team`s penultimate league match in the competition against minnows Canada on Sunday.
The Kiwis had lost 2-3 in a best-of-six match series at home before coming to the World Cup with one match having been washed out and avenged that defeat at Pallekele International Stadium in Sri Lanka on March 8.
The resounding victory, in which vice-captain Ross Taylor`s blazing 131 not out stood out, was the Kiwis` second win on the trot following their embarrassing seven-wicket defeat against holders Australia after having started their campaign with a bang against Kenya.
The batting debacle against the pace attack of Australia and its spectacular redemption against Pakistan was pointed out by Guptill as the major difference between the two games.
"The difference between the two games is that the batsmen really stood up. We knew what we had to do and as a batting unit we put up a defendable total. That`s what really mattered," he said.
He was also fulsome in praising Taylor`s superb show that helped New Zealand add 114 runs in the last six overs to put the match beyond Pakistan`s reach.
"Ross Taylor played a very good knock in the last game. Rossy hasn`t scored a big hundred in a long while. Its going to get his self-confidence back and also for the rest of the team," the 24-year-old Guptill said.
"(We are) not relying on one or two guys. You have to raise your hand when the teams need you. (We`re) Looking forward to the next match. We have got guys who have had good time in the middle," said the Kiwi opener who struck half centuries in New Zealand`s last two ties against Zimbabwe (86 not out at Ahmedabad on March 4) and Pakistan (57).
On the team`s match against Canada, the right-hander said New Zealand would be wary of their opponents as they did not know much about them.
"You got to expect the unexpected against them. We don`t know a lot about Canada. We got to have to go through their video footage to know about them. We just got to prepare our best with what resources we have got and with training. Just do what we do best. The guys know what they have to do," he said.
He was also satisfied with his own form in the tournament in which he has scored 196 runs from 4 games with the help of two half centuries.
"I have batted pretty well in this tournament so far. I had good guys batting around us. I get along well along with Brendon (McCullum) and same with Jesse (Ryder). Having guys batting well around me is good for me and for the team."
Asked what position the team was aiming in the group, he said, "I want to say top but we have got two more games to come. We are taking each game at a time. If we win the game against Canada, we will go hard at Sri Lanka."
Guptill also praised bowling coach Allan Donald`s role in the team`s progress in the tournament.
"Allan`s made a big contribution, especially with the guys getting reverse swing. Looking upto the ball, pitch it in and look for reverse swing.”
"I mean New Zealand team hasn`t been that great in that aspect, but now if you look back especially Kyle. And now we know what to do with the ball when its reverse swinging," he added.
His praise for the former South African great`s inputs is backed up by the figures of Tim Southee, in particular, as well as those of Hamish Bennett and Kyle Mills.
The tall 23-year-old Southee, who bowls at a brisk pace, has grabbed ten wickets in four matches, including a magnificent 3 for 25 against Pakistan which helped New Zealand restrict their rivals to 192 all out.
Rookie Bennett, who made his Test debut against India at Ahmedabad in November, 2010, has improved with Donald`s presence and in 11 ODIs till date has taken 20 wickets, 17 of which had been claimed after the South African joined the team.
Mills, who has been expensive on Indian wickets in the past, has been more economical in the Cup in which he missed the team`s first two ties. In the last two he has clinched 4 for 72.
All rounders Jacob Oram and Soctt Styris too seem to have benefited by Donald`s tips.