New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham made a roaring comeback to international cricket after been out of action for 18 months, and even he didn’t believe that he would make comeback into the Black Caps squad, but his hard-work embraced a new carefree approach to his game.
Before the series against Sri Lanka this month, the 28-year-old had been out of the national side for a year and a half, and not featured for the Blackcaps since the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, and even he lost his central contract and lost his place in his domestic side in Otago as well.
On Monday (January 14), Neesham told Radio Sport Breakfast, “Anyone who spends 18 months out of a team and comes back and says I always believed I'd make it back is either a liar or an idiot. Of course it (not being selected again) goes through your mind ... especially after getting left out of the Otago team last season. It was a long road back from there.”
The left-hand batsman was "pretty proud" of how he managed "to get back up, dust me off" while the seamer also revealed that the mood swings had affected his training, but he is now more committed relaxed and focused with the help of his mental skills coach.
He continued, “I made a bit of a pact with myself that no matter how I was feeling on a day, it didn't matter if I hated it, if I was done or whatever ... Just do the work and get it done and get out of here. In the past, it's probably not been my MO. I've been a good player and trainer when I feel like it, but not at other times when under the weather or not really feeling it.”
Meanwhile, the all-rounder returned with an entertaining 47* off just 13 balls in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka and credited his success to the old cliche for the success.
Neesham signed off by saying, “You can't have a slog like I did in first game without being more carefree. In the past I've been quite self critical and anxious before games. I acted like the world was on my shoulders. It's a cliche to say relax go out and have fun, but I genuinely didn't really mind if I got runs or wickets. (But) there's a difference between knowing that and obsessing over it.”
(With International Cricket Council Inputs)