Probably, Jimmy Neesham isn’t the guy you follow on Insta or maybe not yet. Probably, he’s also a cricketer whose year of debut doesn’t contribute to sharpening anyone’s memory. The fanfare about Jimmy Neesham may actually change soon, owing to his recent exploits.
These are as recent as a couple of hours back or so in the game.
Against the touring Sri Lanka, who were only recently mauled- yes, the word has some gravity- Neesham contributed to the hammering the visitors received in the First ODI, currently being played at Bay Oval, Tauranga.
While his teammates, Guptill, and Williamson, two familiar and accomplished brisk scorers in ODIs got a hundred and a fifty respectively, Neesham added a dash of firepower, just when none would’ve expected a hammering of that kind.
From 6 balls, which the Sri Lankan fan was dreaded watching in an over, Jimmy Neesham collected 34.
In so doing, he struck 4 consecutive sixes. Massive ones.
In all, he struck 5 half-a-dozen’ from that over itself.
Overall, it appeared the bloke who made a name for himself being a clever bowling all-rounder, someone, who stumbled in form, immediately after emerging on the scene in 2013, averaging 20 with the white ball that year but 55 the very next, was back.
That his natural bent forall-roundd cricketing flair complemented his earning- Neesham striking 92 at 113 (S.rate) with 2 not outs in 2015, living up well to his craft with the ball, an average of 55 in 2014, coming down to 31 in 2016- spoke volumes of what he could do.
And yet, it appears that despite all of this skill and great exposition of timing- this being the initial wake up hours for everyone in the New Year- Neesham could be a “Oh, he is in the team today, yes, he’s a fine player- to- wait, who’s Jimmy Neesham exactly” kind of talent.
Actually, Jimmy Neesham could be the guy who, you know, simply, floats on by without many noticing.
But here’s a catch.
When did he last play for New Zealand or did not play regularly anyway for leading us to raise that question?
In case, you thought the above is ‘bull’, then let’s try to give an answer in absolute urgency with which we recollect the date on which AB retired, the exact scores of Shai Hope on the day he tied an ODI, well, that’s easy to remember on his own in Virat Kohli-land, the number of runs Kohli collected the last year- or the individual scores made by Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon in that 2018 December Test?
If you’d answer any of the above, you are a legit cricket fan. Not my saying, The community, it is about time, should coronate you as a wiz.
But if they don’t, then, you aren’t at fault.
Do you know why?
Because the strange thing about Jimm Neesham and remembering what he does in cricket is actually about as tough as is remembering on which day you weren’t offered unsolicited advice in life, given how ‘loving’ the world around us generally is.
So who is at fault?
Could it be down to the fact that Jimmy Neesham doesn’t play all that for New Zealand? Could it also get down to the fact that Neesham isn’t the most featured player in the past, despite having debuted half a year back?
Here’s a perspective that might support the above argument.
For starters, playing in a team that’s laced with bedazzling talent, for every Guptill, there’s Munro, at least, in many a series, for every BJ Wattling, there’s a better keeper and bigger scorer, in Latham, as seen in the dying moments of 2018 in that 264, Neesham, who’s just as good, if not more or less than Corey Anderson, okay playing consistently be damned (for it’s not in the hands of the author), probably highlights that the Black Caps have all in plenty.
Oh, apart from it being a free world, here’s a perspective.
Just when you thought that together Boult and Southee were enough, there came Neil Wagner. Just when one thought, the trio, with assistance from Anderson could easily challenge batsmen with glee, there came Ish Sodhi.
And now, should Neesham play- for he does want to, especially since, it appears as seen in his mighty mauling of Lanka having missed out from T20s in 2016, and playing only just the following year- he must continue to impress.
For starters, there’s no reason to doubt he can.
The World Cup is around the corner. Oh, wait, another two months, suffice to suggest that, right?
Moreover, Neesham’s not a man who says big things and doesn’t respond. The ICC website carried a fine story, a moving one given its passionate narrative wherein Neesham said, “I want to play all three formats for New Zealand.”
That was in September 2018. This is January 2019. That 47 off 13 does, at least, carry an inkling of what Neesham can offer. That’s a good start, at least, is it not?