Devon Conway, who's in line to make his Test debut against England, admitted that the Dukes ball swing more than the Kookaburra but all that’s needed is to have a game plan and to stick by it. He also revealed that training with the Dukes in New Zealand before leaving for England was very helpful.
Devon Conway emerged as one of the rising stars for the Black Caps in the home summer against Australia and Bangladesh respectively. He has proved himself as a reliable player, who has a very good head on his shoulders and also the temperament to make waves at the top-level. What's interesting is that he has nailed whatever chances he has got in white-ball cricket, though his best is yet to come as it's the longer format where his record stands-out.
The experienced campaigner has made 107 FC appearances, accumulating 7,130 runs at 47.21 and has scored 18 hundreds with 327* being his highest-score. What works well for him is that there are realistic chances of him making his debut in the two-match Test series against England, which will be a big challenge. In order to prepare well for the series and the WTC finale, New Zealand had conducted a preparatory camp with the Dukes for their players before leaving for England so that they are well-versed with them.
Conway, reflecting on the Dukes ball challenge, said that they are well prepared for it, thanks to their camp and admitted that it swings more, though all that's needed is a good game plan and the conviction to stay true to it.
"That was very beneficial for us, you know, having that opportunity to play amongst the Dukes ball, get to learn how it works, and try and formulate a game plan, how to go about things. But yeah, I think not a lot changes. You know, we understand that the Dukes ball does swing a little bit more than what the kookaburra does, but you know, you've just got to face the ball and come up with a game plan and stick by it," said the South Africa-born player in an online press interaction, reported TOI.
In the camp ahead of the tour, the 29-years-old got plenty of learnings from experienced players like Ross Taylor and Tom Latham. He stated that it's a good learning curve for him and he has created some wonderful memories with the group, which shows he has adapted well with the senior team.
"It has been a massive learning curve for me, in terms of how the protocols are all set in place, and just trying to adhere through all that. You know, just seeing the guys being around the group for an extended period, it's been fun. And, yeah, a lot of memories created already in the short period.
"In the Test set up the guys have been here for a very long time. So you know, it's good to sort of learn from the experience of players that have been at this level, they've been playing at this level for a long period.”
One of the biggest challenges in England is to adjust to the cold weather conditions with players finding it hard to get acclimatized with the climate. Conway feels it's a tough ask but things will get better once the body adapts itself.
"It's about adapting to the lower degrees. I think that's a slight challenge in itself but I think, you know, once the body acclimatised to that, it's about just really understanding what you want to do and not overcomplicate things...," the southpaw added.
England and New Zealand will play the first Test of the series from June 2 onwards at the Lord's. They will play two Tests and then the Kiwis will gear up for the WTC finale against India that will take place from June 18 in Southampton.