They have the same skill sets and both are integral part of the New Zealand team but all-rounder Jimmy Neesham knows that his “friend” Corey Anderson is already in the big league even as he tries to carve his own niche in international cricket.
Asked about a rivalry with his contemporary, Neesham sets the record straight.
“Corey is a ‘Big Money’ player for Mumbai Indians while I am a ‘Part Player’ here in Delhi. We will certainly have a healthy banter as to who performs well for our respective teams in this edition of IPL,” Neesham told PTI during an interaction after Delhi Daredevils’ practice session.
Talking about Anderson, who now holds the world record for the fastest century in ODIs, Neesham said, “We have spent a lot of time together — me and Corey coming through the age-group system.”
“We have now played a World Cup together. Definitely there is healthy competition with him. We are only 23 and we have a long way to go in our careers as we fight for the same spot or play alongside.”
Neesham fancies himself as more of a bowling all-rounder although his role changes with conditions.
“My role changes with conditions but I reckon myself more as a bowling all-rounder. Considering the conditions over here, I have a lot of change-ups to offer in terms of change of pace. I hope that my batting also comes along well so that I can make a good contribution with the bat as well,” the Otago-based cricketer said.
“As a T20 bowler, if you are bowling at the start when the ball is hard, the idea is to hit the right areas. Once you have to come at the death, the batsmen will also start improvising and one needs to be smarter.”
“The change of pace and subtle variations come into effect at that point of time. In terms of batting, I am still trying to develop a technique of my own which will help me progress as an international cricketer.”
Asked who he turns to for advice, Neesham took legendary Sir Richard Hadlee’s name.
“I speak to Sir Richard Hadlee seeking his technical advice. I also like to pick the brains of our national coach Mike Hesson, who has been of huge help while shaping up my international career,” Neesham said.
The 23-year-old had a memorable Test debut when he scored a hundred against India in Wellington which was a match-saving effort alongside skipper Brendon McCullum’s triple ton.
“The India series went very well as we were able to beat one of the world’s best teams 4-0 in our own backyard. It was an unexpected win for the New Zealand public. It was fantastic to have that sort of performance against Indian players which gives you confidence when you continued…