New Zealand in West Indies 2014 July 2, 2014

Neesham to be tested as opener in T20s

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jimmy Neesham's profitable run with the bat during New Zealand's Test-series win against West Indies is likely to earn him a promotion to the top order in the upcoming Twenty20s. Neesham, who scored a century and two fifties in the three Tests, was the third-highest run-getter in the series, behind Kane Williamson and Tom Latham.

With New Zealand using the same pool of 15 players for the two T20s in Dominica, Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, has said the experiment, if successful, could make it easier to include both Neesham and Corey Anderson in the side's future limited-overs plans. During the World T20, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson had opened the innings for New Zealand.

''In short form cricket he's batted as high as three and opened before in domestic cricket when he was with Auckland so we know he's got the capabilities," Hesson told Fairfax NZ. "We also know that in our one-day side we've struggled to get both Corey [Anderson] and James into our line-up. We want to see James at the top of the order and see how he goes.

''In a squad of 15 we need a number of guys that can cover that position and we certainly see that he can do that. This is a really good opportunity to see how he goes and there could be some other opportunities leading up to the World Cup."

Unlike Tests, Neesham is yet to make an impact in limited-overs cricket. He has played 11 ODIs and seven T20s but has only faced 154 deliveries in the two formats. The highest he has batted in ODIs is at No. 6 and according to Hesson, he is "certainly excited about doing it and it's something he's certainly got a good skill set for".

''It is something I haven't done a whole lot of in the past but for this team to win games then you want to have guys like Corey in the middle order, who is a massive asset for us with his bowling as well, so I think it is something that might be looked at in the future," Neesham told LiveSPORT Radio. "But at the moment I'm quite happy in the middle order"

Hesson also added that Neesham's promotion as an opener had "nothing to do with Test cricket." In the three Tests, New Zealand's best opening partnership was just 17. Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford, who partnered Tom Latham in the Tests, were both unconvincing.

''The opening spot has been a little bit of trouble for New Zealand over the last couple of years and it is one of those things you are always looking for solution and new ways for going about getting a Test victory, so if that in the future is something that will give our team a better balance then it will be something that will be looked at,'' Neesham said.

New Zealand's series win was their second in the West Indies, and despite it coinciding with the news of Lou Vincent's admission of involvement in fixing and a life ban from the ECB, Neesham said it was a "massive feeling" to win overseas.

"It's slightly disappointing [Vincent's ban]. It's good for the game that that sort of stuff is coming out and there are investigations going on, but obviously the timing wasn't ideal," Neesham said. It's a massive feeling for us to get a Test series win overseas. The only way you can rebuild your credibility is by winning games of cricket."

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  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2014, 0:54 GMT

    I think with Craig's run-rate and Sodhi's omission from the third test, they might use him in the T20i's... just a gut-feel. If they play both spinners, then Craig may play instead of Wagner/Boult. I also doubt Latham will bat before Ronchi or Anderson... so I would hope they go with:

    1/ Williamson 2/ Neesham 3/ B.Mac 4/ Taylor 5/ Andersen 6/ Ronchi (wk) 7/ Latham (they'll rest/leave out Watling methinks, until the second one - unless he misses both) 8/ Southee 9/ Sodhi 10/ Boult / Craig (if Craig, he'll bat at #9) 11/ Wagner / Boult

    It will be a close call between Wagner or Boult. Good luck Black Caps.. Let's rip into them again if we can. FYI - To all those clambering to congratulate kiwicricketnut on 'calling Neesham to open', it was MY idea to include Corey AND Neesh and shift 1 to opener. He suggested Neesh for TEST 3, I preferred Corey or B.Mac BUT It was MY idea lolz from BEFORE FIRST TEST! Moreover I made it significantly BEFORE Corey's injury. Credit where it's due t.y

  • Daniel on July 4, 2014, 14:43 GMT

    I've changed my mind about our 11. I feel it's pivotal that we choose our openers carefully, and I somehow feel that opening with Neesham and McCullum will result in one of them having a good innings. I'm worried that Guptill may get bogged down and use up a lot of deliveries if he opens, while BMac will probably get some early boundaries. Thus: McCullum Neesham Williamson Taylor Guptill Anderson Ronchi NMac Southee Boult Wagner We have capable batsmen all the way down our lineup, so it's just a question of our order really.

  • Ryan on July 4, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    I would like the team to be:

    Rutherford, Neesham, McCullum, Taylor, Latham, Anderson, Ronchi, Craig*, Southee, Wagner, Boult. I've tagged Craig as I don't know what he will be like as a T20 player and would be tempted to sub him for Willaimson who would play as a spinner who may get elevated should we lose a couple early.

    However, I suspect Hesson will go with: Neesham, Williamson, McCullum, Taylor, Latham, Anderson, Ronchi, Sodhi, Southee, Wagner, Boult.

  • Naseem on July 4, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    well Neeshan is a class player but new zealand is wasting a special talent like rutherford. coach and captain should use him in limited overs cricket. he's fit for T20 not tests. but they kept him in tests and keep him out of t20 and Odi

  • Ben on July 4, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    Might as well give it a go, nothing really to lose and Neesham's technique is sound enough for this to work. The truely big totals on flat decks need two blazers at the top, and pairing him with McCullum in those instances is a good move, with Ross in at 3 all going well, or Williamson if an early wicket falls. Then having Anderson, Ronchi and Munro following, the hitting power looks good. In all honesty i think our bowlers bat better than most other countries bowlers, so despite it being turning wickets or seaming/swing conditions, changing the bowling attack doesnt deplete the lower order. Think how good Sodhi and Craig are with bat in hand, as are Southee, Boult, Wagner and NMac is a true 8 in T20's anyway.

    Considering Craig's efforts with the bat, and with the ball, it will be interesting if they think he will work in the T20's. Despite him being a right arm off spinner, he bowls a lot differently to NMac with bigger turn and more bounce.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    I think everyone is missing the grand opportunity we have with a limited over opening partnership and a short tail. In T20 you have to open with your best T20 batsment so B mac is you're opener. in the past Guppy messing around for the first 4 overs with a non agressive person at the other end has cost us games. Bmac needs to open and then you have the great oportunity to have anotehr swinger at the other end with Mr ever reliable Williamson to come in and give peace of mind. here are my picks for our current best possible team and Ryder is not there because lets be realistic he's not currently putting himself in the frame. Left out Latham because he has yet to prove himself in the shorter form of the game at this stage. T20 1. Bmac. 2. Neesham. 3.Williamson. 4. Taylor. 5. Anderson. 6.Guptil 7. Ronchi 8.Nmac 9.Southee 10.Milne 11.McClenaghan. Gupppy takes too long to start but i think he has the potential to finish well. your could open with him in ODI's.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    Not sure this is a good idea. We have tried doing this before and it hasn't worked very well and usually unsettles the player they do it to in other forms of the game. It would be better to get someone who is not a genuine batting contender in there like Ish Sodhi or Tim Southee to get us off to a good start. Its not going to affect their batting in a bad way at all.

  • Channan on July 3, 2014, 15:28 GMT

    AAH Neesham! what a good player this batsman is. Expect to see this guy at the top of the heap and to stay there for a long time. With him and Williamson NZ looks very good indeed.

  • Dummy4 on July 3, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    I'm guessing that the team will be this (based on that they are only picking from the 15 man test squad): 1. Williamson, 2. Neesham, 3. McCullum, 4. Taylor, 5. Anderson, 6. Ronchi, 7. Latham/Watling, 8. Southee, 9. Sodhi/Craig, 10. Wagner, 11. Boult

  • john on July 3, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Bring back ryder and guptil..

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