Martin Crowe deserves an extra pat on the back for it was his warrant of fitness on Martin Guptill’s batting that made ‘Guppy’ good again. Crowe does not want the headlines; he is just happy that Guptill and his other batting project Ross Taylor are getting reward for their hard work. The man who had changed the one day international batting for ever, is now in Sydney.
On New Zealand, reaching another semifinal.
MC: It was a good day for the Black Caps in the quarters. These guys have done all the work, everyone needs a hand.
On whether he had sent any congratulatory message to Guptill
MC: Yes, I said OMG which could also be read as ‘Oh Marty Guptill’ but actually it meant ‘Oh My Gap’. We’ve talked a lot over the last few months about not looking at fielders, about looking at gaps. The more the mind is focussed on gaps the more it will find them. I call him ‘gap easy’ to just remind him daily that that is his role.
On Guptill coming to him seeking help in resurrecting his career
MC: It’s a courageous move to rebuild at 28. He wanted to be a successful Test batsman and he made the right call at the right time. For a big lad like him, he is very agile. So it’s just basics that were letting him down in the past, particularly in the Test arena. His other strengths lie in the fluency of his play, a stable base that allows him to hit straight and hard, a desperation drummed into him to deny the bowler success and tellingly the requirement to play straighter for longer early in his innings.
On anything more the new Martin should do
MC: The only thing he needs to do is when the moment hits, like a power play or the last 10 overs, he should go through the gears.
On his another disciple Ross Taylor
MC: While Guppy’s year has been focussed on change, Ross has been dealing with a war of attrition travelling around the world playing in the West Indies, India and the UAE. He has been slowly worn down. His game changes when that happens. He’s become aware of all that. He’s made the adjustments for this tournament and let’s hope he can really express himself at the back end. I think he has had enough time in the middle now to express himself. The whole point is to peak at the back end and I think he can nail it.
On whether these two cricketers’ success means something more to him
MC: If it’s helped the New Zealand team that I have been able to bring the two of them along then great. Like anyone I’d like us to get through our seventh semi. We are due.
On whether he favours New Zealand on Tuesday’s semifinal
MC: It is a hard one to pick a particular team in the semi-final against South Africa in Auckland on Tuesday. I’ve been backing these two sides all along. They are similar teams, similar balance. It is 50/50.