Conway has caught the Kane Williamson bug to keep learning: Bracewell

Auckland: Former New Zealand spinner John Bracewell believes charismatic batter Devon Conway has caught the “Kane Williamson bug” to keep learning from past mistakes and making rapid improvements in his batting technique.

Conway, a late entrant into the New Zealand setup at 29, took the cricketing world by storm by smashing a double hundred on Test debut against England in 2021 to become only the seventh batter to do so in the longest format.

Conway, now 31, also played a vital role for Chennai Super Kings in only his second IPL season, scoring six half-centuries and aggregating 672 runs with a highest of an unbeaten 92 and an average touching 52.

His opening partnerships with Ruturaj Gaikwad formed the cornerstone of CSK’s record-equalling fifth title. The all-format New Zealand cricketer was third on the IPL’s Orange Cap list behind Shubman Gill and RCB’s South African skipper Faf du Plessis.

“I think he’s been an absolute magician in terms of his adaptability to all three formats, his skillset and his (growth),” Bracewell, who played 41 Tests garnering 102 wickets and 1000-plus runs, told Sen Radio.

“I like the way he’s becoming a better cricketer all the time, so he’s obviously caught the Kane Williamson bug of being a learner, not a guy that actually just sits there and relies on being talented,” said the 65-year-old.

Conway has so far amassed 1212 Test, 508 ODI and 632 T20I runs, and Bracewell believes the cricketer can rival the best in the business.

“His game is just continuing to progress and that’s something that Kane Williamson had introduced into the New Zealand side along with (former wicketkeeper) BJ Watling.

“That’s something that Devon Conway’s picked up and moved forward with him taking it to another dimension.”

Bracewell believes Conway will play a huge role during the ODI World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in October-November this year, given that Williamson would unlikely have recovered completely from an ACL injury he suffered in the IPL.

“He’s one of a series of components, but he’s certainly an important one,” said Bracewell.

“One, that he knows those (Indian) conditions (and) two, that he’s extremely adaptable in terms of now he’s opening the batting in T20. So he has that adaptability to be able to move up and down the order and fit in, so that makes him a good replacement for somebody like Kane.”