It takes a lot to overshadow Martin Guptill when he gets going. But that’s just what happened at Auckland’s Eden Park two months ago when New Zealand faced Sri Lanka in the second T20 international.
Guptill had just slammed the fastest 50 by a New Zealander in 19 balls when barely 20 minutes later Colin Munro slammed a half-century in just 14.
Despite having only played in 23 T20Is for New Zealand, Munro has emerged as one of the biggest hitters in the outfit ahead of the ICC World T20. The New Zealander will start their campaign against India on Tuesday in Nagpur. But the 28-year-old is mindful that the conditions in India will not be the same as the ones he’s accustomed to back home, but believes he has the solution.
“These are different conditions from the ones at home. In India, it’s just a matter of picking the right moments to attack as the ball doesn’t really come on to the bat. The important thing about T20 is targeting specific bowlers,” Munro told reporters at an open media session in Mumbai on Tuesday.
He also said that former teammate Brendon McCullum once told him to ‘play aggressively when in doubt’, an advice he’s made his motto.
Munro seems to prefer bowling attacks from the sub-continent. Five days after that whirlwind 50 against Sri Lanka, he put Pakistan to the sword, scoring 56 off 27 balls.
“I enjoy going out there and hitting the ball hard. For me, it’s about cementing my spot in the team and playing as aggressively as possible. There’s no specific training for big hitting, you’re born to be attacking. Though sometimes you grow into an attacking batsman,” he said reminiscing his early days when he made his first class debut for Auckland as the first change bowler and the No 11 batsman.
“Growing up, I used to play backyard cricket with my three older brothers in South Africa. They’d just keep batting and batting and batting and when my turn came to bat they’d get me out early and I’d just be bowling again.”
However, his medium pace eventually forced him to focus on his batting, a switch that could help fetch New Zealand that elusive trophy on the big stage if the batsman fires in India.