Cricket World Cup 2019: Blackcaps hail Martin Guptill's 'game-changing' run-out

Blackcaps stars Ross Taylor and Mitchell Santner credit Martin Guptill for his "game-changing" heroics during New Zealand's gutsy World Cup semi-final win against India.

Guptill, who has struggled for batting form at the tournament, quickly went from zero to hero, when he created a vital run-out that helped his side to an 18-run win at Old Trafford.

At the time, India, chasing 240 runs for victory, required 25 from 10 balls to beat the Blackcaps and they had MS Dhoni - regarded as one of the best closers in cricket - at the crease.

But Dhoni steered the ball legside towards Guptill, and the Kiwi opener picked it up and hit the stumps with a direct hit off a massive throw.

The play came one day after the 32-year-old was out for one during New Zealand's innings and his sour look was broadcast all over the world.

Taylor said he hoped the play would give Guptill a confidence boost heading into the final.

"He hasn't had the tournament he would've liked and he was our stand-out at the last World Cup," said Taylor.

"But he is down on confidence, and we talked about it after he missed out yesterday and this morning - we said 'go out and do something brilliant'.

"To have the confidence to do that in the semi-final, I'm sure that and Jimmy's catch will be played over and over in New Zealand. Hopefully, that's the bit of luck that Guptill needs for him to take that from his fielding into his batting.

"Hopefully, he can have a bit of luck and make the most of it."

Guptill has scored just 167 runs over nine matches at an average of 20.87. Seventy-three of those runs came against Sri Lanka in the opening match, more than a month ago.

Compare that to four years ago, where he was New Zealand's leading runscorer, as they progressed to the final against Australia.

As a result of the criticism, Guptill's wife, cricket broadcaster Laura McGoldrick, lept to his defence, saying he was trying his best.

Spinner Santner said the run-out wicket changed the outcome of the game.

"It was a game-changer, wasn't it?" Santer said. "Dhoni didn't look like getting out, so it was the only way to do it

"To do something like that at that stage was pretty special and that put us over the line."

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson echoed Santner's thoughts.

"He's probably the only man on the pitch that could perhaps create that run-out. For him to do that and pull off what was a significant turning point in the match was special.

"We've seen Dhoni finish games from those similar positions on a number of occasions. To dismiss Dhoni in whatever fashion is extremely important - I think it was a big moment in the game."


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