Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has been promoted to the top of the order for the upcoming two-match Twenty20 series against the West Indies following his outstanding performance in the Test series.
Neesham scored 278 runs at a brilliant average of 46.33, which included one century and two half-centuries.
”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,” New Zealand head coach Mike 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.”
However, while his Test career has begun flourishing, Neesham is still yet to make an impact in ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals.
“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.
“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.”
Even though Neesham was pleased to have beaten the West Indies 2-1 in the Test series, he admitted that it was slightly soured by the fact that former batsman Lou Vincent was banned for life for match-fixing.
“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.”