• Neesham ‘made a pact’ with himself

    All-rounder James Neesham is relishing the opportunity to impress for New Zealand again.

    Neesham had not played international cricket since June 2017, prior this month’s ODI series against Sri Lanka. He will likely feature in the upcoming limited-overs fixtures against India, too.

    ‘Anyone who spends 18 months out of a team and comes back and says I always believed I’d make it back is either a liar or an idiot,’ he told Radio NZ.

    ‘I’m pretty proud of the last 18 months being able to get back up, dust myself off – make it back for a pretty successful comeback against Sri Lanka.

    ‘I’m proud of just doing the work. I made a bit of a pact with myself that no matter how I was feeling on a day, it didn’t matter if I hated it, or if I was done, or whatever – just do the work and get it done and get out of here.

    ‘I’ve been a good player and trainee when I felt like it, but not at other times when under the weather or not really feeling it. There’s certainly been a bit of a change over the past year or so.’

    The hard-hitting left-handed batsman and right-arm seamer struck 47 not out, 64 and 12 not out – and clinched six key wickets – during the the three-ODI series against the Sri Lankans.

    ‘I wasn’t nervous at all before the Sri Lanka series. In the past, I’ve been quite self-critical and anxious before games. I acted like the world was on my shoulders,’ he added.

    ‘It’s a cliche to say relax go out and have fun, but I genuinely didn’t really mind if I got runs or wickets.’

    Photo: Getty

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