James Douglas Sheahan Neesham, often called Jimmy Neesham, is a New Zealand all-rounder who bats left-handed and bowls medium pace. Largely restricted to limited-overs cricket, James Neesham began his career as an all-format player capable of holding his own in the middle-order and chipping in with a few overs with the ball.
New Zealand, Auckland, Derbyshire, Kent, North Island, New Zealand A, Wellington, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals, Otago, New Zealand Under-19, New Zealand XI, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders, Edmonton Royals, Pollard XI
Batting Career Summary
Bowling Career Summary
Neesham started his career in Auckland but moving to Otago proved to be a turning point in his career as he made plenty of impactful performances in the fifty-overs arena. After doing well with both bat and ball, Neesham was considered a potential player for the Black Caps.
James Neesham’s T20I Career
His big-hitting skills and ability to handle tense situations well made James Neesham a good pick in the shortest format of the game. James Neesham made his T20I debut in 2012 at Durban against South Africa.
Since then, Neesham has been in and out of the New Zealand T20I side. Neesham has played just 18 T20Is in eight years for the Black Caps, racking up 185 runs at an average of 16.81 and a strike rate of 141.22. With the ball, Neesham has 13 wickets at an average of 24.84 and an economy just above 8.5.
Neesham has never made a half-century for New Zealand in this format and has the best haul of 3/16. Despite his skills fitting the requirements of the format, New Zealand have used him sparingly over the years in this format.
James Neesham was a natural in the fifty-overs game. Neesham made his ODI debut against South Africa at Paarl in January 2013. He was dismissed for a duck in the match and, in fact, made double-digit scores just once in his first six innings with the bat.
Neesham had a reasonably good year in 2017 with the bat but largely his potential remained unfulfilled. In 2019, he contemplated retiring from the game only to get back his confidence after seeing a psychologist.
Neesham returned to play for New Zealand in 2019 and made an immediate impact with a 13-ball 47 not out against Sri Lanka. He made a 37-ball 64 next game and was invited in the squad for the 2019 World Cup where he eventually played a major role for New Zealand.
In 63 ODIs, Neesham has 1286 runs and 61 wickets and has recently become an integral part of the New Zealand side.
Neesham made an unbeaten 97 on the league stage of the 2019 World Cup against Pakistan, which was his highest ODI score. He then went on to play a pivotal role in the World Cup final. Neesham was spectacular for the Kiwis in that big final, taking three wickets, effecting the final-ball run out that made the game a tie and then batting in the Super Over and scoring 13 off 5 balls including a six off Jofra Archer.
“I’d given it a good crack trying to get enjoyment from succeeding but once I paid less attention to the runs and wickets, less attention to hitting balls for two hours the day before a game. It couldn’t have gone better, to be honest,” James Neesham later commented overcoming a mentally tough period to star for New Zealand.
James Neesham’s Test Career
James Neesham made his Test debut against India at Wellington in 2014. Neesham made 137 in 154 balls on his Test debut in the second innings as New Zealand made 680. Neesham also picked up a wicket with the ball in New Zealand’s first bowling innings. In Kingston against the West Indies in his next innings, Neesham made another century but the runs dried up after that and the two hundreds have remained his only ones scored in the longest format of the game.
Neesham played 12 Tests, making 709 runs at an average of 33.76 with two hundreds and four fifties. With the ball, Neesham has 14 wickets with a best of 3/42. His last Test came in 2017 against South Africa in Wellington. Neesham has not played for New Zealand in Tests since 2017.
James Neesham in the IPL and Franchise Career
James Neesham was bought by Delhi Daredevils, now Delhi Capitals, in the IPL season 7 auction. In the following year, Kolkata Knight Riders picked him up but he was ruled out because of an injury. In the IPL 2020 auction, James Neesham was bought by Kings XI Punjab. Neesham has played just four IPL matches so far.
Neesham has also played for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League, for Derbyshire and Kent in the NatWest T20 Blast and Edmonton Royals in the Global T20 Canada. Within New Zealand, he has moved from Auckland to Otago and Wellington.
All in all, Neesham has played 120 T20s, making 1754 runs at an average of 26.17 and a strike rate of 137.89. With the ball, Neesham has 113 wickets but the economy has been on the higher side, at 9.09.