When taking the field on Friday night at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, besides aiming to star for his side to level the series, will have a personal milestone in sight. The veteran stands just 11 runs short of surpassing Virat Kohli's world record of most ever T20I runs.
Scoring an impressive 42-ball 70 in the opener in Jaipur on Wednesday, laced with three boundaries and four sixes, Guptill looked well in sight to surpass Kohli's tally of 3227 runs in T20Is before falling to a slower delivery from Deepak Chahar.
Guptill, who stands second with 3217 runs in 110 matches, now needs 11 runs to become the leading run-getter in the format. Meanwhile, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma stands third on the list with 3086 runs in 117 matches, thereby standing 142 runs short of Kohli's tally, who has been rested from the three-match series. Rohit scored a 36-ball 48 in the opener.
Guptill appeared in good nick for New Zealand, scoring 208 runs from seven matches with a highest of 93. Behind skipper Kane Williamson, Guptill was the second-highest run-scorer for NZ in the ICC event. Kohli meanwhile, has been rested for the T20Is, which means that there is every chance that Guptill could climb to the top of the table in the next couple of games. Having said that, Rohit isn't far behind and it will be interesting to see how the battle for the top spot between him and Guptill unfolds.
Guptill's knock, combined with Mark Chapman's 63 off 50 helped New Zealand, the 2021 T20 World Cup runners-up, amass 164 for six. Rohit and KL Rahul got India off to a promising start with their 12th half-century stand before Suryakumar Yadav's 40-ball 62 helped the team complete the chase with two balls to spare. New Zealand, 0-1 down after the 5-wicket loss in Jaipur, will now aim to level the series in Ranchi.