New Zealand v Pakistan: Final - Tri-Series
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 14: Devon Conway of New Zealand bats during the final of the T20 International series between New Zealand and Pakistan at Hagley Oval on October 14, 2022 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)
New Zealand v Pakistan: Final - Tri-Series

New Zealander batter Devon Conway has taken the cricketing world by storm with his new mode of aggressive batting.

Conway holds fifth position in the Men's T20I Player Rankings.

The 31-year-old made his debut for the Kiwis against the West Indies at Eden Park on November 27, 2020.

Since his debut he did not look back, the left-handed batter has made himself an all-format player for New Zealand. The Kiwi batsman has scored 941 runs in just 25 innings with a staggering average of 52.

The support from his team-mates and the support staff has helped him to keep producing and contributing to the team as best possible, and just keep finding ways to improve as a player.

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There has been a major turn-around for the batter since he has started opening the batting for his teams. The left-hander has opened the batting on several occasions in different conditions.

He had a fair bit of experience batting up the order for Wellington and he learnt a lot while batting with Indian batter, Ruturaj Gaikwad for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.

"I'm very happy to get the opportunity at the top of the order [for New Zealand] and Martin Guptill," he told CricInfo.

Devon Conway believes that he is lucky to have a lot of experience around him. He tries to learn and adapt from the experience of big players around him.

"I tend to ask the guys who have been to these parts of the world how they go about it, how they construct innings, and how they've had success in the past. I then try to adapt it into my game."

Devon Conway had never been to the subcontinent before the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates; he had only been to Sri Lanka on a school excursion in 2005.

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"It's been an exciting challenge to try to practise and emulate as much as possible in terms of training on different pitches while experiencing different conditions and pitches in various parts of the world. I often practise the many alternatives I might need to deploy in the subcontinent or on wickets with a lot of pace and bounce, even in New Zealand," he said.

Although he still hasn't perfected the new shots to his satisfaction, learning and developing new pictures is a fun process for him.

Especially, with his new mode of batting, he has received a lot of backing by the support staff. The clear message from the leadership group and support staff to play your natural game has been a pushing factor for him.

"Go out there and express yourself. That is the sort of language and things we try to practise to get that positive start to an innings," he said.

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Conway has got a lot of experience batting in flexible positions for the team. He has batted in all different positions throughout his career and for him it's about adapting to the situation.

He is happy to bat anywhere in the top order, wherever it is best for the team. It's important that he adapts to whatever situation the game is in and try to contribute wherever he can - whether it is at the top of the order or in the middle order.

With his tremendous success in batting for the Kiwis, Conway is working hard on his wicket-keeping skills. He has been working closely with Tom Blundell on his wicket-keeping.

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"I've put in a lot of work on my keeping and I work quite closely with Tom Blundell in Wellington. He helps me with my keeping in white-ball cricket," he added.

Keeping wicket aids his batting in terms of performance. Even though his side always batted first against the West Indies, he can only speculate that if he had kept first, he could have been able to get a feel for the pitch and essentially play an innings before he even started to bat.
By keeping an eye on the ball for 120 deliveries per inning, he has the chance to become extremely focused.

Conway missed the T20 World Cup final against Australia last year due to an odd incident in which he fractured his hand when hitting his bat in frustration after being dismissed in the semi-final.

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The left-hander says, "It was obviously very disappointing to go through that injury and it was a moment of madness. It was a very silly moment that I will remember for a long time. It took me about eight weeks to get over the injury and it put me out of the Indian white-ball tour straight after the World Cup. I certainly won't be doing that again anytime soon."

His team will make a quick assessment of the situation in Australia. There are a few players on the team who have essentially played in every one of these venues, so they will have useful inside knowledge and experience regarding how to approach it.

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"We have a strong, powerful group of players who have been through the [last] World Cup and have performed, and we were very close to winning it. We will take a lot of confidence and learnings from the previous World Cup and implement it in our campaign this year in Australia and hopefully we can get across the line in the final," he said.