Devon Conway Certainly Has The Potential To Open For The Black Caps: James Neesham

Devon Conway Certainly Has The Potential To Open For The Black Caps: James Neesham

New Zealands James Neesham (R) and Devon Conway (L) celebrate their victory during the Twenty20 international cricket match between New Zealand and the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland on November 27, 2020. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

James Neesham, a New Zealand all-rounder has said that opener Devon Conway is a huge prospect for the team, especially with the two World Cups coming up in the next year.

South Africa’s Devon Conway, 29, made his way into the New Zealand cricket set up last year. A predominant top-order batsman for Wellington who opens the batting in T20s, Devon Conway has already become a star for his domestic side and for the Black Caps. Just a few months into his international career, he has sealed his position in the New Zealand top order.

Devon Conway entered the IPL 2021 auction at a base price of Rs 50 lakh.
Devon Conway entered the IPL 2021 auction at a base price of Rs 50 lakh. | Photo Credit: AP

James Neesham Looks Forward To Seeing Devon Conway To Continue Run Scoring

Devon Conway remained unbeaten on 99 off just 59 deliveries with 10 fours and 3 sixes while taking New Zealand to a total of 184 after the rest of the top order failed. New Zealand went on to beat Australia, in the 1st home T20I, by 53 runs. Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson failed but Glenn Phillips and James Neesham apart from Devon Conway scored at a strike rate of over 150 and helped Kiwis to cross the 180 mark hurdle.

According to all-rounder and current teammate James Neesham, Devon Conway could rise up the ranks and open for New Zealand ahead of the two T20 World Cups scheduled at India and Australia.

“I think he’s shown quite evidently over the last month or so that he’s got what it takes to succeed at the international level. We’ve seen him churn out runs in the domestic circuit over the last four or five seasons that not a lot of people would have the ability to do.

“For him to come up at the international level earlier in the summer against West Indies and Pakistan and sort of taking to it like a fish to water was pretty impressive. I just look forward to seeing him over the next few years to continue that run-scoring,” James Neesham said.

james Neesham[photo: Inside Sport]
James Neesham[photo: Inside Sport]

“As someone batting five or six behind him it’s obviously very nice to get a couple of runs on the board before you get out there. He certainly has the potential to open for the Black Caps.

“The way our team is set up at the moment, there’s a lot of guys vying for those top three positions and I’m sure with a World Cup coming up at the end of the year and then another one not long after that, I’m sure he’ll get an opportunity at some point,” James Neesham stated.

Devon Conway went unsold in the IPL 2021 Auction even though he had set the base price at Rs. 50 lakh. Trent Boult and Tim Southee shared two wickets apiece in their opening spell as Australia was left reeling while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi took four wickets to help New Zealand dismiss Australia for only 131 despite Mitchell Marsh’s 45.

James Neesham: Devon Conway’s A Unique Kind Of Batsman Who Times The Ball Afer Being Set

Further on, James Neesham praised Devon Conway’s unique style of batting, which makes it look deceivingly easy for other batsmen, especially as seen in his knock from the 1st T20I against neighbours Australia. In fact, Devon Conway’s T20 form (last 5 innings: 99*, 93*, 91*, 69*, 50) shows that he is at his prime. He amassed 352 runs without being dismissed in the last 5 T20s.

After his impressive batting during the 1st T20I against Australia, Devon Conway became the first NZ player to hit five consecutive fifties in international T20 cricket.

“He’s a unique kind of batsman I guess. Sometimes he sort of looks like he’s not that comfortable at the crease and looks like he’s not timing the ball that well, but then you look at the scorecard and he’s 50 off 40 and putting in a real good performance in for the team.

“I think the best thing about him as a guy who bats behind him is he doesn’t give it away that often. He really grinds through those tough patches and like we saw [Monday] night,” James Neesham added.

Devon Conway launches one down the ground Getty Images
Devon Conway launches one down the ground Getty Images

“It probably took him 30 or 40 balls to actually start timing the ball really nicely. But then after that he really opened the game up for us. He allows us when he bats like that to get around him and really utilise that death phase to get us up to what ended up being easily enough runs.”

New Zealand, who won the 1st T20I by 53 runs, are 1-0 ahead in the 5-match series. 29-year-old Devon Conway has played only 7 T20Is but has amassed 273 runs with an average of 91. He is yet to score a ton as his highest score is 99. He has 3 fifties and scored runs at a strike rate of 156.9.