New Zealand sweat over Martin Guptill’s fitness ahead of Australia tour
New Zealand are due to play three ODIs and one T20I against Australia starting from January 30. The side is set to depart for the white-ball matches on January 24. However, ahead of the series, opening batter Martin Guptill’s availability is a cause of concern for New Zealand. The 35-year-old suffered a moderate calf strain while playing a match in the Ford Trophy one-day competition on January 3.
The experienced player is targeting to return in the Super Smash for Auckland Aces on January 22. It will be a vital match and Guptill’s fitness will be assessed. A New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement said the batter’s injury would be monitored during a period of rehabilitation.
Guptill’s presence for the Australia tour is important as he is one of the team’s leading batters and run-getters. Also, he was seen in good form during the T20I series against India. His ability to score runs at a fast clip, and put pressure on the opposition is second to none.
New Zealand are set to play their first ODI against Australia on January 30 in Perth. The schedule though is expected to change due to Western Australia’s border restrictions till February 5. Cricket Australia (CA) has not announced an alternative venue. Hobart, Sydney, and Canberra are due to host the second and third ODI, and one-off T20I respectively.
The limited-overs matches will form part of Ross Taylor’s farewell to intentional cricket. He had earlier announced that the ongoing home summer would be his last for New Zealand across formats.