New Zealand opener Martin Guptill believes the team’s tour of England has been a success, regardless of the outcome of the concluding Twenty20 international at Old Trafford.
The Black Caps shared a two-Test series 1-1 before the World Cup finalists went down 3-2 in a thrilling one-day series that finished with England’s dramatic three-wicket victory at the Riverside on Saturday.
Meanwhile the likes of fast bowler Matt Henry, seamer Ben Wheeler and left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner have all shown promise in the early stages of their respective international careers.
“It has been a success,” Guptill, who made a fine 67 at the Riverside told reporters at Old Trafford on Monday.
“While it was disappointing to lose the one-day series and only draw the Test series, the guys that we’ve brought in – Matt Henry did very well on his Test debut and in his first couple of Tests, while Ben Wheeler and Mitch Santner have been successes for us in the one-day form,” he added.
Reflecting on the mood within the New Zealand camp, the 28-year-old Guptill said: “It’s a pretty amazing series we just played in and unfortunately we came out on the wrong side.
“But the guys are still pretty confident and we’ll be up for tomorrow (Tuesday) night.”
“We’ve come here to win. Hopefully we can end the tour on a high and leave with a smile on our faces.”
New Zealand thrashed a lacklustre England by eight wickets en route to a World Cup final, where they were themselves well beaten by Australia in Melbourne in March.
However, Guptill said New Zealand expected England was harder to beat on home soil, and he didn’t see that changing for Tuesday’s game.
All the time they’ve been in England, New Zealand have been lauded for the sportsmanlike manner in which they’ve conducted themselves as well as the quality of their cricket.
“The respect between both sides has been right up there,” said Guptill, who insisted New Zealand, under the captaincy of Brendon McCullum, did not go out of their way to create a good impression.
“We just try to go out enjoy playing cricket and having fun,” Guptill said.