‘Only Came to World Cup to Run Dhoni Out’: The Curious Case of Martin Guptill’s Nightmare With the Bat
Martin Guptill looked to be in the mood today. After a big swing and a miss of the very first ball, he took a deep breath, settled his nerves and soon hit a six and a four announcing his intentions.
After a torrid tournament, it seemed the swashbuckling opener will finally let his willow talk on the biggest stage of them all: the World Cup final in the mecca of cricket, the Lord’s.
But he flattered to deceive. After a quick start, he played and missed a Chris Woakes delivery and was hit plumb in front of the stumps. He took a review, hoping against hope, that he would survive the scare just like his partner at the other end did an over ago. But replays showed that ball would have hit the middle of middle stump.
The review wasted in a World Cup final. It has been just that kind of a World Cup for Guptill. After scoring a half century in New Zealand’s opener against Sri Lanka, he failed to get going and would perhaps make the worst XI side of almost everyone.
Coming into the World Cup, he was one of the most important figures for the Black Caps and had scored two consecutive centuries. He averaged over 50 since the last World Cup in Australia, where he was the top scorer with over 500 runs. All that form went out the window once he set foot in England.
And yet, New Zealand has still made a second straight final. Credit for that would partly go to him too, for that memorable run out of MS Dhoni in the semi-final, when the match still could have gone either way. His direct hit would be remembered long after the tournament gets over, if only for how it broke a billion hearts in India.
If he has failed with the bat, at least he has his fielding going for him.
His dismissal in the final prompted scores of memes and attacks on social media, with fans asking if he had only come to the World Cup to run Dhoni out.
Guptill will be remembered for breaking India’s heart #ENGvsNZ— Sunil Singh (@Sunil_1984_) July 14, 2019
Guptill's whole world cup is just like he was Not there at allExcept that Ms Dhoni Run out#ENGvsNZ— Dilshad Khan (DK) ❤❤ (@dk1343) July 14, 2019
He was also slammed by fans for wasting the review so early in the innings.