Hesson: Neesham to open in Windies T20s

New Zealand

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson says middle order batsman Jimmy Neesham is set to open the batting in the T20 series against the West Indies this week, after racking up some strong scores in the Tests.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson says middle order batsman Jimmy Neesham is set to open the batting in the T20 series against the West Indies this week, after racking up some strong scores in the Tests.

Hesson wants both Neesham and Corey Anderson in the T20 side, and this is made easier if one of them moves up the order. In the World Twenty20, Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill opened, but the latter is not in the Caribbean.

Hesson told <i>Fairfax NZ</i> of Neesham's shift: "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.

"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."

While Neesham himself seemed happy with the possible move, according to Hesson, the batsman wasn't looking to make the opening spot his own in Tests yet, despite the difficulty of finding a reliable pairing.

Neesham said on <i>Livesport Radio</i>: "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."

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