It’s always uncomfortable to see a talented player warming the bench for a long time. But such has been the case with New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham in the ongoing IPL 2021.
The Kiwi was brought for Rs. 50 Lakh by the Mumbai Indians and has been on the sidelines in the tournament hitherto. Because the 5-time champions have Kieron Pollard as their premier overseas all-rounder, James Neesham is considered as the back-up for the West Indian.
He played for the Punjab Kings (formerly Kings XI Punjab) last season in the UAE featuring in 5 games and didn’t have any notable performance; he has been carrying drinks so far in the 5 matches for Rohit Sharma’s side.
A fan on Twitter too expressed his upsetness about the left-hander not making it into the Mumbai eleven. In fact, he went on to advise James Neesham, who is a crucial cog in New Zealand’s white-ball team, that he improves his ball-hitting skills with the bat, and perhaps then he could be selected in Mumbai’s line-up.
“You should work on your hard-hitting abilities. You are a perfect ODI All-rounder but you need to improve your hard-hitting abilities to cement a place in the t20 playing XI. It’s so disappointing for you and us as well that Player like you warming the bench,” commented a Twitter user.
This irked the 30-year-old, who then came up with a shutting reply. Jame Neesham posted an image showing his stat as a batsman where his average and strike rate of New Zealand in the past couple of years is observed.
— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) April 28, 2021
James Neesham signed by Essex for T20 Blast
James Neesham will join Essex for this summer’s Vitality Blast in England following the IPL. Earlier he has had stints with Kent and Derbyshire. The all-rounder will replace Ravi Bopara who has moved to Sussex last year as Essex, the 2019 champions, finished second to last in the last season.
“We sat down at the end of last season and concluded that we needed to add another allrounder to the T20 squad, and with all of his talent and experience, Jimmy fits the bill perfectly,” Anthony McGrath, Essex’s head coach, said.
“He’s excelled with both the bat and the ball on the biggest of stages for his country, as well as in the global franchise competitions and it’s a great match for both the player and the club,” he added.
James Neesham is also excited about playing in the Blast and teaming up with his former Otago Volts teammate, Ryan ten Doeschate, with whom he had won the HRV Cup, New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition.
“I am really looking forward to joining up with Essex Eagles for this year’s Vitality Blast. I’m excited about linking up with Ryan ten Doeschate again, having played with him for a few seasons when he was with Otago, and hopefully we can replicate the success of 2019,” Neesham said.