Devon Conway, who on day one of the intra-squad warm-up match in Southampton struck an unbeaten half-century, has asserted that he enjoyed opening with Tom Latham, and has insisted that he is ready to bat at the top of the order. Comway, currently, is the favorite to partner Latham against England.
Devon Conway opening in red-ball cricket is a rarity, but the 29-year-old pushed his case for selection on day one of the intra-squad warm-up match as the southpaw struck an unbeaten 55 to inch closer towards earning a maiden Test cap. Opening the batting ahead of incumbent Tom Blundell - a tell-tale sign in itself - Conway, representing Latham XI, negated the new-ball to perfection and blasted his way to an unbeaten 55 before retiring out at lunch to further strengthen his case for selection for the first Test at Lord’s.
Conway has torn the Plunket Shield apart batting at No.3 for Wellington, but speaking post day one in Southampton, the 29-year-old insisted that opening the batting ‘is not too different’ to batting at No.3, and asserted that he is ready to bat anywhere for the side.
"There's probably not too much difference to be fair. Sometimes if you're batting three, you could be in the first over. So it's just about backing your game plan, backing the way you play, and just staying true to that as much as you can, regardless of the situation. It's just about adjusting to the surface and being positive throughout,” Conway said on Thursday, reported Cricbuzz.
"I like to see myself as a guy who bats anywhere really. If the opportunity presents itself to bat up the order in Test cricket or ODIs or Twenty20, I would be happy to take that with both hands. It's just a number. At the end of the day, it's about adjusting to different scenarios and situations of the game and just batting accordingly."
Conway, in all likelihood, should he debut, will be opening with Tom Latham, and the duo, on Thursday, stitched together an unbeaten 106-run stand. Latham is widely regarded as one of the best openers in Test cricket, and Conway asserted that he has learnt a lot by just observing Latham, who is the vice-captain of the Test side.
"Good opportunity to bat with him [Latham] out in the middle. Fortunately, we are both left-handers, so I could just feed off a couple of things that he was doing. He is very experienced, knows his game inside out.
"Just watching how he goes about things, not only in today's game but in training and his discipline around, his shot selection, the way he plays his game, it's pretty awesome to learn from.”
The 29-year-old Wellington batsman has already made his mark in ODI and T20I cricket, but the southpaw is yet to play Test cricket, which many feel is his strongest format. Conway passed a major test on Thursday, and the 29-year-old insisted that he cherished the opportunity to put on a show in front of greats of the game like Williamson, Taylor and Southee.
"Just to be there at the other end was pretty exciting and good learnings throughout the day. You've got Kane Williamson there at gully watching you bat. That's pretty intimidating, one of the best guys watching you go about your business. Then also fronting up and facing guys like Tim Southee, who have been there for a long time. I didn't get the opportunity to bat with Ross Taylor today, which was a bit unfortunate, but hopefully one day I'll get that chance."