Heath Te-Ihi-O-Te-Rangi Davis
November 30, 1971, Lower Hutt, Wellington
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
One of those people who was able to come back strongly from highly visible major technique problems. A tearaway quickie whose chief attribute was to get the ball from A to B as quickly as possible notwithstanding any other consideration, he was selected for the tour of England in 1994. It was well known that he had problems overstepping and with his accuracy, much of this being due to faulty technique at delivery with his head falling away badly. He was required for one Test on that tour, sent his first delivery for 4 wides, snared an early wicket, and ended up with just that one for plenty. He did not play for NZ again for nearly three years.
In the intervening period, he worked on his problems, but it was a long while before there was any real improvement at provincial level. He was still taking wickets, had a good strike rate, but had not solved his rhythm problems. He came under the wing of Dennis Lillee and Dayle Hadlee at the cricket academy and started bowling well for Wellington in 1996/7, although at a slightly reduced pace. He was selected for the NZA side against England in 1997, and then for the third Test of that series. The three Tests he played in 1996/7 showed that he had overcome his problems, although it was quite noticeable that he lapsed when he tried to bowl that yard or two too quickly. Not at all a swinger of the ball, his chief weapons are bounce and hostility, a little bit of seam, and, quite remarkably, his ability to keep at the batsman. For much of the series against Sri Lanka in 1997 he had both a heel and a knee problem which saw him limping. It was remarkable that he could bowl at all. Such a performance, as well as being an inspiration to his team, helped to elevate him to cult status with the general public.
Batting & Fielding