Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Northern Districts opening batsman Anton Devcich has revealed that the team “worked bloody hard back home on playing spin bowling” prior to the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) in India.
Since India is renowned for its spin-friendly pitches, Devcich noted that the team “tried to replicate the pitches back home”.
“I guess New Zealanders are renowned for not playing spin bowling well. We have worked bloody hard back home on playing spin bowling,” Devcich told clt20.com. “We have tried to replicate the pitches back home and a lot of guys went to England and played for New Zealand A on dry wickets. We have put a lot of emphasis on that part of the game because it is such a major part of doing well in the competition.
“I came to the subcontinent with the New Zealand team for the T20 World Cup and I am pretty familiar with the conditions now. A lot of the other guys in our side have never been to India and have never played here. So it is an eye opener for them. Everyone is putting their hand up and doing well which is very satisfying.”
Devich also pointed out that the key to success in India is playing a lot of shots down the ground.
“The horizontal shots will just flow on if I play straight,” he said. ” base my game around playing straight and playing smart cricket. If I try to over-hit the ball too much, that’s when I lose my shape and don’t bat well. Holding my shape, playing straight is the key to my game.”
The 28-year-old also cannot believe how well his opening partner, Kane Williamson, is doing in the CLT20. Williamson recently scored his maiden Twenty20 century and has also accumulated two half-centuries.
“You just watch the way he plays and everything looks effortless for him. He almost brings a calming effect to the crease when he bats at the other end,” Devcich said. “Personally, I really like batting with him because he is the one who brings me down to a level when I am too pumped up; he talks about good scoring options and a lot more in the middle. He is a fantastic player to bat with.”
When asked about why he decided to grow his beard, Devcich said: “I was hanging out with one of my good mates back home who was getting married. After a couple of beers, we decided it was a good idea to grow our beards for a year. Its been six months since I have been growing my beard and have six more months to go. There are a few other hairy guys back home as well. Lets see how it goes and how long I can keep it on.”