New Zealand may be forced to face India in its crunch T20 World Cup clash on Sunday without Martin Guptill after the batsman injured his toe in its opening loss to Pakistan.
Opener Guptill, New Zealand’s most experienced short format international, took a blow to the big toe from a Haris Rauf delivery just before he was dismissed for 17 during the five-wicket loss to Pakistan in Sharjah on Tuesday.
“We’ll see how he scrubs up overnight,” coach Gary Stead told reporters from the United Arab Emirates 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.”
The injury comes as a second blow to New Zealand after paceman Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of the tournament with a calf muscle tear on Tuesday.
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Stead said he had been disappointed that the International Cricket Council’s Technical Committee had not approved Adam Milne as Ferguson’s replacement in time to play the Pakistan match. “We tried pretty hard today to get across the line with the ICC our replacement player, but it wasn’t to be,” he added.
“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.”
Stead was happy with how his team had fought against Pakistan, which beat India in its opener, but conceded that the other teams in Group 2 were now battling for second place and the semifinal spot that goes with it. “You would imagine that Pakistan are now the hot favourites in our group to be the No. 1 seed and the rest of us are fighting it out for the next spot, which makes the India game pretty critical,” he said.
“You sometimes have to lose one to find out the important things for you. If we can go and beat India then we certainly put ourselves back on the right track.”
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