India will play New Zealand in a three-match ODI series, with the first match starting on October 22 at Mumbai. India are favourites to win the title after routing Sri Lanka and Australia in the ODI series. There are few battles within the battle in the ODI series between India and New Zealand. Rohit Sharma vs Martin Guptill is one such battle that will keep fans hooked. Cricwizz analyses performance of these two players to decide who is a better opener of the two. (Please note that the comparisons are based on the players’ limited-overs cricket records at the international level)
Career resurrection after being asked to open: Until former Indian skipper MS Dhoni asked Rohit Sharma to open in 2013 Champions Trophy, the Mumbai Indians batsman was struggling to cement his place in the team in the middle-order. He was even dropped a few times. But the decision to ask Rohit Sharma to open turned out to be a master-stroke as the cricketer went on to crack two double tons in his ODI career as an opener. He averages a healthy 44.03 in ODIs now from a low 30s when he was batting in the middle-order.
Building the innings: Rohit takes his time to settle down and paces his innings beautifully. He azttacks as and when necessary. And when he is on song, it’s just difficult to stop him. He accelerates in the death overs and just deals in boundaries and sixes then. It is just a treat to watch when Rohit is on song.
Consistency: Rohit has also improved on his consistency since taking the opener’s role in 2013. He has been converting his 50s into tons easily now. Since 2013, he has 12 ODI tons compared to 2 tons in his first six years of ODI cricket. Even his consistency in T20Is has improved, being just one of the three Indian players to score a ton in all formats of the game at the international level.
Rohit Sharma as opener:
Consistency: Guptill has been a consistent opener for New Zealand, scoring runs in bulk. Like Rohit, he too has been more successful in limited-overs cricket than Tests. He averages above 40 six times in 9 years of ODI cricket and four times he averages above 50.
Attacking batsman with full range of strokes: Guptill is adept in playing shots all round the park. He is adept in playing balls on the rise. Hence, it is difficult to contain him. When Guptill is on song, it’s difficult to stop him. He slammed 237* against West Indies in 2015 World Cup. It contained 24 fours and 11 sixes, a testimony to his hard-hitting batting.
Career stats: Guptill is the fifth highest run-getter for New Zealand in ODIs. He is the second highest run-getter for New Zealand in T20Is. He is closing in on the top spot in both the formats.
Martin Guptill as opener:
Against each other: Both the players have average record against each other. Hence, they will be looking to improve their performances in the upcoming ODI series.
Rohit Sharma against New Zealand
Guptill against India:
Verdict: Rohit Sharma is the most charismatic opener compared to Guptill. Rohit has that lazy elegance and make shot-making like a child’s play. It’s just a treat to watch Rohit hit the balls for fours and sixes at will. Guptill is one of the attacking openers New Zealand have produced but lacks the same talent, skills and power compared to Rohit. Our vote goes to Rohit Sharma.