Martin Guptill, from ODI hero to test match mediocrity at best

Martin Guptill is world class with a white ball, but mediocre with a red one.
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Martin Guptill is world class with a white ball, but mediocre with a red one.

No long established international batsman has a bigger drop off in form between ODIs and tests than New Zealand's Martin Guptill.

The Black Caps opener, a world class force in One Day International cricket, has long been a player that is unable to translate that into test success.

There's no secret. Since his debut for the Black Caps in 2009, in both formats, Guptill has scored twice as many runs in limited overs cricket as he has in tests, and at a much more prolific rate.

Now, every cricketer is better in one form of cricket than the other. But no cricketer has a worse drop off than Guptill when moving from white ball to red.

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Guptill averages a world class 43.66 in ODI cricket. His average drops by 14.28 runs to just 29.38 in test, which is what we'd call mediocre at best.

In test cricket, it just doesn't happen for Guptill.
REUTERS

In test cricket, it just doesn't happen for Guptill.

The only batsman to have scored 2000 runs in each format with a similar drop between the two forms of the game is MS Dhoni, but his circumstances are different.

Dhoni has an ODI average of 50.56, which is simply outstanding. His average drops by 12.47 runs to 38.09 in test cricket, but given he is a lower order batsman in tests, that is a fine average to have.

At the other end of the spectrum, players who are much better in test cricket than ODI cricket, Pakistan's Younis Khan leads the way.

Averaging 53.06 in tests, a truly world class number, his average drops 21.82 runs in ODI cricket, to just 31.24. It's a massive drop off, but shows that Khan really is a test specialist, despite scoring more than 7000 runs in ODI cricket.

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Allan Border gives Khan company (50.56 in tests, 30.62 in ODIs), but played in an era where an ODI average of 30 was seen as decent.

You see, an ODI average lower than your test average is almost expected. In test cricket, fields are more open and batsmen have more time to score their runs. They aren't pressured by ring fields, and knowing they have only 50 overs to score their runs.

That's why many of the greats are on the list.

Mahela Jayawardene's average drops by 16.83 runs. Kumar Sangakkara by 15.44, VVS Laxman by 15.21. Heck, Brian Lara's average drops by 12.27 runs between test and ODIs.

But the circumstances are much different to Guptill.

Look at Steve Smith. He hasn't been able to replicate his test form in ODIs. His average drops by a whopping 17.79 runs between tests and ODIs.

But then you look at his averages. A ridiculous 61.46 in tests, a rate which has him being considered as the best since Bradman, then a world class 43.67 in ODIs.

No batsman, of 140 who have scored 2000 runs in tests and ODIs, drops from world class in one format to mediocre in another, quite like Guptill.

Our own Daniel Vettori might be the closest. For a lower order batsman, and all rounder, Vettori's average of 30.15 in tests is very respectable.

In ODIs, his average drops by 12.96 runs to just 17.19. Still, you'd argue a lower order batsman doesn't get the same opportunities to score in limited overs cricket as they do in tests.

 - Stuff

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