John Bracewell, a former New Zealand spinner, believes that the charismatic batsman Devon Conway has caught the ‘Kane Williamson virus’ and will continue to learn from his errors and make rapid improvements to his batting technique.
Conway, a late 29-year-old addition to the New Zealand squad, shook the cricketing world by scoring 200 on Test debut against England in 2021, becoming just the seventh batsman to do so in the longest format.
Conway, who is now 31 years old, also played an important role for Chennai Super Kings in only his second IPL season, scoring six half-centuries and accumulating 672 runs with an unbeaten high of 92 and an average of 52.
His opening partnerships with Ruturaj Gaikwad were crucial to CSK’s record-tying fifth championship. The New Zealand all-format cricketer ranked third on the IPL’s Orange Cap list, behind Shubman Gill and RCB’s South African captain Faf du Plessis.
Bracewell, who played 41 Tests and amassed 102 wickets and over 1000 runs, told Sen Radio, “I believe he’s been an absolute magician in terms of his adaptability to all three formats, his skillset, and his (growth).”
Bracewell feels Conway can compete with the best after 1212 Test, 508 ODI, and 632 T20I runs.
The 65-year-old said, “I like the way he’s constantly improving as a cricketer, so he’s obviously caught the Kane Williamson bug of being a learner and not a guy who just relies on his talent.”
“His technique continues to improve, which is something that Kane Williamson and (former wicketkeeper) BJ Watling introduced to the New Zealand team.
This is something that Devon Conway has taken up and advanced by giving it a new dimension.
Bracewell believes Conway will play a significant role during the ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in India in October and November of this year, as Williamson is unlikely to fully rehabilitate from an ACL injury he sustained during the IPL.
Bracewell stated, “He is one of a series of components, but he is certainly an essential one.”
“One, that he is familiar with those (Indian) conditions, and two, that he is exceedingly adaptable in that he is now opening the innings in T20. Therefore, his adaptability to move up and down the order and slot in makes him a suitable replacement for someone like Kane.”