Power hitter Finn Allen might be Martin Guptill’s natural successor in New Zealand cricket but the young top order batsman says he is in no rush to dislodge his veteran team mate ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Both were named in New Zealand’s squad on Tuesday for the Oct. 16-Nov. 13 tournament in Australia where the Black Caps will hope to go one better after making last year’s final in the United Arab Emirates.
Guptill will be 36 at his seventh T20 World Cup, while 23-year-old Allen will hope for chances in his first after shining in T20 leagues in the last couple of years.
Staff have pledged that all available players in the Kane Williamson-captained squad will feature in the warm-up T20s against Pakistan and Bangladesh starting Oct. 8 in Christchurch. Coach Gary Stead said New Zealand would try a few opening combinations but Allen does not see the tri-series as a potential bat-off with Guptill at the top of the order.
“It’s not really a fight, I think,” Allen told reporters on Tuesday. “He’s done it for so long. And he’s got so many accolades in New Zealand. He’s such an incredible player.
“For me, I’m just grateful for opportunities to be in the squad and to get my chances when I can. I just look at it like that. “I try not to put too much pressure on (from) that sort of stuff.”
Guptill was dropped for Allen in New Zealand’s last white ball match, an ODI against Australia in Cairns which the visitors lost by 25 runs.
Allen scored a typically brisk 35 off 38 balls in a half-century opening partnership with Devon Conway, another candidate to open at the World Cup.
Guptill shrugged off his omission from Cairns and sounded far from ready to give up his spot.
“There’s always competition for spots, isn’t there?” Guptill told reporters.
“The pressure goes on everyone to perform. I’m lucky enough to do it for a number of years now. “And I want to continue to do it as long as I can.”