Happy Birthday James Neesham: A Look at 5 Splendid Knocks by the Kiwi Southpaw
Happy Birthday James Neesham (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham celebrates his 29th birthday on Tuesday. Born on September 17, 1990, the southpaw is a vital cog in the New Zealand cricket team. Neesham is known for his explosive-hitting skills and can clear any boundary. The all-rounder almost pulled-off the 2019 World Cup for New Zealand by hitting a gigantic six off Jofra Archer in the super over. However, England won the match by the controversial boundary rule. Along with being a clean striker, the player is also a handy bowler and a gun fielder, which makes him a great asset for the Blackcaps. James Neesham Posts Funny Reply on Twitter After Pakistani Actress Sehar Shinwari Asks the New Zealand Cricketer to Become Father of Her Future Kids (See Tweet).

Neesham made his international debut in December 2012 and has represented New Zealand in all three formats. However, the all-rounder's career was affected by many injuries, which restricted his success by some margin. Neesham has represented New Zealand in 12 Tests, 59 ODIs and 15 T20Is in which he aggregated 709, 1247 and 122 runs respectively. The southpaw has two Test centuries under his belt and has played many blistering knocks in ODIs as well. So, on the occasion of Neesham's 29th birthday, let's look at five best knocks played by the Kiwi southpaw in international cricket. Take Up Baking, Not Sport: Jimmy Neesham to Kids After Nerve-Wrecking World Cup Loss Against England. 

137* Against India in Wellington

The second Test of India's 2014 Tour of New Zealand might be remembered for Brendon Mccullum's splendid triple ton but Neesham also played a crucial role in the match. Making his debut in whites, Neesham was against the potent Indian bowling line-up. However, the southpaw played a well-compiled innings and scored a century on debut. Neesham supported the skipper very well and New Zealand managed a tie.

107 Against West Indies in Jamaica

Neesham followed his Test debut century by another brilliant ton in his second match. The southpaw achieved this feat in the first Test of New Zealand's 2014 Tour of West Indies. Neesham's brilliant knock powered the visitors to a massive score of 508 runs in the first innings. The total proved to be too much for the hosts as they lost the match by 186 runs.

71* Against South Africa in Christchurch

The southpaw played a terrific innings in the 2nd ODI of South Africa's 2017 tour of New Zealand. Coming to bat at number 5, the left-handed batsman stitched a massive partnership with veteran Ross Taylor and notched up a magnificent half-century. Neesham scored 71 off just 57 deliveries and the Blackcaps post 289 in the first innings. In reply, the Proteas showed great spirit while chasing the target but fell short by 6 runs.

47* Against Sri Lanka in Mount Maunganui

The left-handed batsman was making a comeback in the first ODI of Sri Lanka's 2019 tour of New Zealand. However, the batsman didn't show any signs of rustiness and looked better than ever before. Neesham came to bat in the death overs and dismantled the Sri Lankan bowlers. In the 48th over of the match, the southpaw hit five sixes of Thisara Perera and guided his team to a mammoth score of 371 runs in the first innings. Neesham's cameo proved to be fruitful as the Kiwis won the match by 45 runs.

97 Against Pakistan in Birmingham

Known for his blitz in the end overs, Neesham played a very disciplined innings against Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup. Batting first, the kiwis top order collapsed and Neesham came into bat at number six. The batsman rebuilt the innings with Colin de Grandhomme and brought New Zealand back in the match. Unfortunately, Neesham missed his ton by 3 runs but guided his team to 237 in the first innings. However, the total didn't prove to be enough and Pakistan clinched the match by six wickets.

After the heart-breaking loss in the 2019 World Cup finals, the Kane Williamson-led side will aim the ICC World T20 title which is scheduled to held in Australia next year. Neesham has already displayed his ability at the international level and the Blackcaps will want the all-rounder to fire in the tournament next year too in order to guide New Zealand to the title.