IPL 2019: Martin Guptill can’t wait to join the Orange Army
Martin Guptill has played only 10 IPL matches so far.
Updated - Dec 19, 2018 4:56 pm
The auction for the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was held in Jaipur on Tuesday and big-hitting New Zealand opening batsman Martin Guptill would consider himself lucky to eventually have found a franchise in the form of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
The 32-year-old cricketer, who initially went unsold, was picked by the former champions in the accelerated auction at his base price of Rs 1 crore. This will be Guptill’s third IPL since he played first in the tournament in 2016. He went unsold in the auction for the 2018 season.
The SRH think tank, led by two established former players VVS Laxman and Tom Moody, might have picked Guptill as a probable replacement for the experienced Shikhar Dhawan who was released by the Sunrisers this year and has joined his home-based franchise Delhi Capitals.
Guptill has played only 10 IPL matches so far after making his debut for Mumbai Indians in 2016 and appearing for Kings XI Punjab in 2017. He has scored 189 runs in these 10 matches at a strike rate of 132-plus and scored just one fifty that came in the second season he played.
Guptill excited to join SRH
The Kiwi later on Tuesday said on Instagram that he was excited to join the SRH, also known as the Orange Army for the colour of their jersey and the franchise also welcomed him to its fold. The fans of the Hyderabad-based franchise were also happy to see the dashing batter in their favorite team.
Here’s Guptill’s Instagram post after being picked
View this post on Instagram
Excited to be joining @sunrisershyd for this years @iplt20 ! #orangearmy #Repost @sunrisershyd with @get_repost ・・・ #OrangeArmy, put your hands together for the newest addition to our family, the destructive @martyguptill31 💥 #OrangeArmy #StrongerThanEver #SabseKirakHyderabad
A post shared by Martin Guptill (@martyguptill31) on
The Sunrisers, who finished as the champions in 2016 and lost to Chennai Super Kings in the final in 2018, are a bowler-heavy side but Guptill’s addition might send a signal that they are not overlooking their batting strength either. The Sunrisers also have a Kiwi at the helm in the form of Kane Williamson who replaced the under-ban David Warner and led the side with a lot of character.
The Sunrisers also picked two wicket-keepers in Wriddhiman Saha and England’s Jonny Bairstow in Tuesday’s auction. David Warner is most likely to take part in Pakistan series during the IPL and he might miss the remainder of the IPL season due to World Cup preparations. Guptill will be a key player for SRH if Warner opts out.