London, May 24 – New Zealand’s top-order batter and prolific run-getter Devon Conway is likely to take Ross Taylor’s No.4 spot in the three-Test series against England after the Black Caps legend retired from international cricket recently at the age of 38.
The 30-year-old Conway, who completed his engagements with Indian Premier League side Chennai Super Kings a few days back, batted at No.3 for the Kiwis in the four summer home Tests earlier this year when skipper Kane Williamson was laid low by an elbow injury.
The Black Caps’ head coach Gary Stead on Monday virtually confirmed that Conway will bat at No.4 in the inaugural Test at Lord’s beginning June 2, with returning skipper Williamson to come in as first-drop, according to stuff.co.nz.
“Kane’s got a pretty good record at number three. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it — that seems to apply. Devon has obviously done well as an opener for us here (England) last year, but Will Young has made a nice fist of it too (with Tom Latham),” the report quoted Stead as saying.
With Young and Latham set to open the innings for New Zealand after doing a superb job in the Black Caps’ first warm-game against Sussex, and Williamson expected to come in as the first-drop batter, Conway could take the slot left vacant by Taylor.
Conway, who has played seven Tests so far, opened the innings last year against England in the Test series, and met with instant success as he scored a double century in the drawn opening match at Lord’s. on debut. He was then brought down the order, at No. 3, in the home Tests against Bangladesh and South Africa as Williamson continued to nurse his injured elbow.
The cricketer averages 63.91 and has two centuries batting at No. 3 against Bangladesh in the drawn two-Test series.