The New Zealand team has suffered a severe setback ahead of their ICC T20 World Cup match against India on October 31, with opener Martin Guptill suffering a toe injury that could keep him out of the big match.
Guptill, who scored a 20-ball 17 against Pakistan on Tuesday, suffered a bruised toe after being struck by a Haris Rauf delivery in the Powerplay’s penultimate over. With eight balls remaining in Sharjah, New Zealand succumbed by five wickets in a low-scoring match.
“We’ll see how he scrubs up overnight,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead told reporters after the match. “He looked in a little bit of discomfort at the end of the game and it might take 24 to 48 hours to see how he goes.”
Lockie Ferguson, New Zealand’s fast bowler, had previously suffered a calf muscle strain and was unable to play in the game against Pakistan.
The coach said that the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Technical Committee’s decision not to approve Adam Milne as a replacement for Ferguson in time for the Pakistan game was disappointing.
“We tried pretty hard to get across the line with the ICC our replacement player, but it wasn’t to be. That was really disappointing for us because Adam Milne is someone who’s waiting in the wings as a like-for-like replacement. We’ll seek clarification on that decision of theirs.”
Pakistan will almost surely win the group after two wins, according to Stead, while the other teams in Group 2 will strive to finish second in order to advance for the semifinals.
“I would believe that Pakistan are now the hot favourites in our group to be the number one seed, and the rest of us are battling it out for the second slot, making the India game very important,” he said.
“It’s sometimes necessary to lose one in order to discover what’s vital to you. We would have put ourselves back on the right track if we can defeat India “Stead added.
(With IANS inputs)