When compared to former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey, who is now the Chennai Super Kings batting coach after a long association with the IPL franchise as a player, New Zealand batter Devon Conway says he feels special.
Hussey, a left-handed batter, played 79 Tests and scored over 6000 runs, in addition to 185 ODIs and 35 T20Is for Australia. In Tests, the 46-year-old averaged 51.52, while in ODIs, he scored over 5.400 runs at an average of 48.15.
Hussey scored over 1,900 runs in 58 innings in the IPL, including an unbeaten 116.
Conway hit a superb 49-ball 87 for CSK against the Delhi Capitals at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday, helping the team win by 91 runs. Conway was also named Player-of-the-Match.
“Yeah, I think I have heard (comparison with Hussey) that a few times now which is quite good. To get compared to one of the greats, Mike Hussey is pretty special to be possibly in that bracket. I think he has got so much knowledge and so much experience not only in the IPL but throughout the world. Just very important for me as a player to continue talking to him and learning from him and just getting some guidelines when I need it,” said Conway, for whom this was his third consecutive half-century in IPL 2022.
Given the quality of the players, Conway, 30, believes CSK, the four-time IPL champions, will return stronger next year. Though CSK are technically not out of the IPL 2022, they must win their remaining three games and hope for favourable results from the other teams in order to qualify for the playoffs.
“Certainly I think we have got a very strong team, a very strong squad. The results have not quite gone our way this year. We are not quite out of the competition though. We have some seriously classy players in the setup with good experience and really good young guys coming through. So, there is no doubt that we will come back stronger next year and play some really good cricket,” added Conway.
Conway also shared his blueprint for success with the bat.
“For me the key is to try and be very simple and authentic to myself as a player. My blueprint is quite simple. In the first 6 overs try and play strong cricket shots, analyze the situation, the surface, the conditions, and just keep up the communication with Rutu (Ruturaj) at the other end. He is a class player and really calm at the crease. So, him and I have some good chats out in the middle. So, we complement each other quite nicely out in the middle,” added Conway.
Conway also stated that CSK initially wanted to carry an extra pacer due to the injuries to Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne, and that head coach Stephen Fleming had asked him to be ready for any opportunity that might arise.
“Yeah, I think the reason for it was due to the combination of the team. We needed to find a good balance. We were a couple of bowlers short. Deepak Chahar was injured, Adam Milne was injured as well, and it was important for us to try and fill those gaps as best as possible, and that meant that we had to carry an extra bowler as an overseas option.”
“So, it was quite understandable. The message was clear from Stephen Fleming that I needed to make sure to be ready for any opportunity that may present itself in the future. And, I think with my wedding as well, sort of made it, the fact that I needed to be away for a handful of games as well. So, it was good just to support the guys from the sidelines, and I was very fortunate to go to South Africa and get married as well.”
(Inputs from IANS)