Handling spinners in Hamilton ‘some of the best in a long time’ – Martin Guptill

Opener Martin Guptill believes the way the New Zealand batsmen handled the Indian spinners in the first ODI in Hamilton was some of the best they have done in a long time.

In their four-wicket win, New Zealand hammered Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav for a total of 148 runs from 20 overs to chase down their highest ODI total of 348. Guptill said they will have to be “little more attacking” during the second ODI in Auckland on Saturday, given the short boundaries at Eden Park.

“It’s completely different conditions, isn’t it? You have to be a little bit more attacking here I guess and have the confidence that the ball probably will not spin past your edge as much. You know the odd one might as it did the other night,” Guptill said on Friday.

“I thought the way we handled the Indian spinners in Hamilton was some of the best we have done it in a long time. So we can take confidence from that going forward in the series.”

Yadav’s figures of 2 for 84 were his most expensive in ODIs, and he was attacked particularly by the left-hand batsmen Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls on Wednesday. Latham struck him for 31 runs off 17 balls by using the sweep effectively, while Nicholls collected 18 runs off nine balls against the wristspinner. Nicholls and Latham weren’t as attacking against Jadeja, but Ross Taylor, who scored a century, made up for it by scoring 28 off 22 against the orthodox spinner.

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Another threat New Zealand negated was of Jasprit Bumrah, who played a crucial role in India’s 5-0 sweep of the T20Is, by being more circumspect against him early on and not giving a single wicket in the game. Guptill said it was more about getting used to facing Bumrah than becoming “comfortable” facing him.

“Don’t know [it ever gets] comfortable facing him,” he said. “But you certainly get used to him. He has got a unique action, he comes in and he is very good with his skills. I thought we played him well on the other night.

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“He bowled very well with the new ball and when the time came to take boundaries off him I thought the guys in the middle did that really well and negated him and [did not allow him] to take early wickets.”

Guptill also praised stand-in captain Latham for his 69 off 48 at No. 5. Returning from injury after sustaining a fractured finger during the SCG Test against Australia last month, Latham started slow by scoring only four runs off his first 14 balls before unleashing his sweeps against Yadav.

“I thought Tom played brilliantly,” Guptill said. “He gave himself some time to get in and then flipped the switch when he needed to and took the pressure a little bit off Ross. It allowed Ross to settle into his own innings as well.

“Then between 25 to 40 over mark, they just took the game away from India with that match-winning partnership.”

Eden Park’s odd dimensions add a bit of uncertainty for the second ODI, Guptill said, where he and Nicholls would want to see through the first 10 overs to set a platform for the middle order.

“This ground is different, isn’t it? You want to go out and start the way we can and stay as positive as possible. It could be 70 for no loss or it could be 40 for no loss. You just don’t know until we go out there and assess the conditions.

“You want to go out there being positive. Unfortunately in the game of cricket if you lose couple of wickets early you have to rebuild. But if Henry and I can get across the 10-over mark then hopefully take it as deep as possible.”