Kiwi Conway shows the Golden Way | Sunday Observer

Kiwi Conway shows the Golden Way

20 June, 2021

HOWZATT!, great catch. lovely stroke and many more similar shouts resounded on the Holy Land of cricket, the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London where England hosted New Zealand in the first of two Tests matches with the first one ending in a draw where the third day’s play was completely washed off by rain.

But during this wash-out one man stood out like a beacon and that was New Zealand’s left had opening batsman who rewrote the record books by being the first batsman to make a double hundred on debut at Lord’s.

Now this is no mean feat. Every cricketer be him a batsman or bowler taking to the game, first dreams of playing for the country, then if possible captaining the country and then performing an act that historians will rewrite the books with his name at the top of a new leaf.

And this dream came true for New Zealand’s left handed opening batsman Devon Conway when making his debut he blew apart the strong England attack to smash a brilliant double hundred which only dreams are made of.

After reaching a debut 100 on the first day he continued his masterly magic with the bat to double that score and then had the misfortune of being run out, thus not gifting his wicket to any bowler.

What was glittering in this memorable knock was that from 194 he reached his double hundred with a hook shot for six over square leg. When he was unfortunately run-out which also ended new Zealand’s first innings at 378, there were only a few spectators who were allowed into the ground owing to the pandemic who all stood up to lavishly to cheer him back to the pavilion.

Earlier his team mates on the Lord’s balcony stood up to a man and cheered his epic knock that may not be seen again possibly not in this century.

Conway is South African born and decided with his parents to make New Zealand their home and the youngster from his early years showed promise of being a cricketer with natural potential and early signs that one day he would sport the Kiwi cap.

When the Kiwi cap was presented to him and he had to open the innings against three of the best new ball bowlers in world cricket, James Anderson, Mark Wood, Robinson and Stuart Broad in conditions that favored pace and swing any batsman making his debut would have been nervy.

But not the left handed Devon Conway. Seeing him bat was a revelation. He did not seem to be worried or scared as he stood up gallantly to the pace and swing not fearing to play shots off the back or the front foot with ease.

The left hander who we were seeing for the first time had all the strokes in the book and cleverly found the gaps in the field to play cuts, drives on both sides of the ‘V’ and hit the ball to the boundary and over it as he pleased. If he can continue like this he could finally end up being the best or one of the best batsmen produced in Kiwi country who made them make a formidable 378.

Then when favourites England took strike they ran into an exhibition of swing both ways by right arm paceman Tim Southee who ran riot to capture 6 for 43 which was a wonderful effort and helped New Zealand lead England on the first innings.

Southee has been New Zealand’s ‘hit man’ since he took the new ball and has very rarely failed to deliver. He uses the new and the old ball with great intelligence and moves it both ways in masterly fashion. His success is based on the fact that he does not look for speed, but endeavors to beat and get the batsmen out with both way swing.

When this is read the historic Test to pick the best Test playing country in world cricket between New Zealand and India will be on at the Lord ‘s Cricket Ground after the England- New Zealand series and although India go out favorites an upset win by New Zealand will not come as a surprise. New Zealand’s resounding victory over England in the second Test at Birmingham will give them the necessary confidence when they front up to India in the official Test championship final. It won’t come as a surprise if the Kiwis beat India.

The Kiwis have been acclimatizing in England and will know the conditions and having played two Tests in English conditions will be aware of how that wicket behaves.

The side winning the toss will certainly be at an advantage and will be delighted to take first strike. As usual the early play probably before lunch may see movement and be friendly to the pacemen.

But a close analysis of the two teams show that India has the better all-round side. They have damaging pacemen and when it comes to spin there are no better spinners than off spinner Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja and Axa Patel the left arm spinners. Three spinners any country will love to have.

One hopes that the rain gods that spoilt a day’s play in the England- New Zealand series will not begin to cry and spoil this historic Test that is played for the first time. New Zealand were denied of being champions in the last 50 over World Cup. Let them leave England proudly carrying with them the honors of being champions of world Test cricket. Kane Williamson’s side deserve it.

In-between Sri Lanka will be playing England in their limited over games. After the England – Sri Lanka series England will play India in five Test matches.

We hope India and New Zealand will have their own TV Commentators and not let the biased England commentators do the job.

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