With the New Zealand vs. South Africa series starting from 21st October, New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum has started his mind games. New Zealand Captain said that all-rounder Jimmy Neesham will open the innings alongside Martin Guptill in the first ODI against South Africa which is to be played in Mount Maunganui.
Mccullum, as quoted, said: “For me it’s about how he goes about constructing his innings. If we can get that destructive kind of player at the top, playing with some freedom, then that goes a long way in assisting us with the rest of our line-up”
With Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson injured, it is good time for the kiwis to experiment with their batting line up before the World Cup. Neesham being an all rounder will be a huge help for the kiwis. Kane Williamson being banned from bowling by the ICC would certainly have been disappointing for the kiwis as Kane was someone who could have easily bowled 6-7 overs for his team. With Williamson banned from bowling, Mcculum would be looking for someone among the top 5 batsman who can bowl some overs for the team
Neesham averages a mere 19.50 in his 9 ODI innings, coming to bat at number 6 or lower. He was asked to open In the T20’s against West Indies but just managed to score 18 in two innings. He has batted 3 hours in the nets just before the eve of the game, but playing in nets is totally different from playing the real game and that too against the likes of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
Meanwhile Tim Southee has been declared fit after passing his fitness test, but the coach Hesson said that they would not be rushing to play him. The coach said” If he is not at full capacity then he wont play the first one, but he’ll be certainly available to play 2nd and the 3rd and should be firing for it by then.”