Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believes the New Zealand think-tank can look to promote James Neesham in the batting unit in the absence of Devon Conway in the T20 World Cup final against Australia.
Conway's absence is a massive headache for Kane Williamson and head coach Gary Stead considering the fact that the Kiwis are a bowling-heavy unit. Gavaskar pointed out that there is no like-for-like replacement for a versatile player like Conway.
Speaking on India Today on the eve of the marquee Trans-Tasman clash, Gavaskar said:
‘’I don't think New Zealand will look to make too many changes unless they are struggling around the 13th and 14th over and have not got too many runs. Then they might have Neesham going up. We have seen the way Neesham turned the game around against England."
Neesham played a match-winning cameo with the bat in the semi-final and will look to continue his form in the summit clash against the Aussies. However, according to reports, Tim Seifert will likely replace Conway in the playing XI,
"It will make a huge impact" - Sunil Gavaskar on Devon Conway's absence
New Zealand will be without their middle-order batter in the finals because of a self-inflicted injury he sustained after the semi-final against England this past week.
Conway has had a breakout year in international cricket across formats this season. After playing a huge role in New Zealand's Test series win over England earlier this summer, the South African-born cricketer was once again at it during the semi-finals in Abu Dhabi, a few days ago.
Conway scored a 38-ball 46 and played a crucial role in setting up the final assault orchestrated by Daryll Mitchell and James Neesham.
However, he was so disappointed when he got out that he ended up breaking the fifth metacarpal in his right hand. In addition to the final against Australia, Conway has also been ruled out of the tour of India. Gavaskar said:
"It will make a huge impact because Devon Conway is a quality player. We have seen him at the Test level. He made a double hundred on his Test debut. He's been in very good form these last 12 months. As a batsman, he has scored 1000 runs. He is a wicketkeeper, he is a left-hander."
"We saw the combination of Daryl Mitchell and Conway, how they took the game away from England. Conway not being around is going to be huge. He is a man in form and somebody who brings the left hand into the equation."