John Wright hopes Martin Guptill to come good in the final Test against South Africa – Cricket News Update
The New Zealand cricket coach, John Wright, is hopeful that the opening batsman Martin Guptill would come good in the third and final Test against South Africa, starting at Basin Reserve in Wellington, on Friday, March 23, 2012.
Guptill, whose streak of seven consecutive half centuries across all the three formats of the game was broken by South Africa last month, has been struggling against the Proteas bowlers in the first two Tests of the three-match series. The last four innings
against the on-tour Proteas saw him scoring a tally of just 45 runs at a meagre average of 11.25, including the highest score of 22.
However, the Kiwis coach backed the struggling opener, calling him a class player and hoped he will click in the must-win third Test against the tourists.
"Guptill's had a lean time, that can happen when you're opening. We know he's a class player and hopefully he'll come right this Test match," said Wright during a media encounter on Wednesday.
The New Zealand coach also tipped at playing Daniel Flynn as an opener alongside Guptill, ruling out any possibility of moving vice-captain Brendon McCullum up in the order. Wright maintained that McCullum will remain at number 3, hoping Flynn would strengthen
the top order and allow the middle-order batsmen play their natural game.
"You don't want to be in a situation with the middle order always going in at 20 for 3," said Wright. "[Ross] Taylor and McCullum have played well, they just need to go on and post three figures. That's really what we talk about a lot," he added further.
In order to strengthen the batting department of the hosts, the NZC selectors have included Daniel Flynn and Dean Brownlie in the squad for the third Test. Whilst Flynn is a confirmed selection for the playing XI, Brownlie is still under scrutiny and the
team management and selectors are closely assessing him before giving him the green signal for the final Test.
Brownlie had broken his finger during the home series against Zimbabwe in February and has recently recovered from the fracture. If called into the side, Brownlie will most likely take is usual No. 6 position in the New Zealand batting line up.
Having already lost the ODI and T20 series to the Proteas, the host are trailing the three-match Test series 0-1.