Born again Twose enjoys One-day cricket

Written by: Suresh Parekh
Published: Friday, October 13, 2000, 13:00 [IST]
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Rajkot: Roger Twose is the latest sensation to have emerged on the cricketing firmament. His deeds as a specialist One-day batsman have put his name as a frontrunner for the post of top batsman in the world along with Michael Bevan of Australia.

Roger Twose played almost half of his career in England where he was doing regularly duty for Warwickshire. He was picked by the New Zealand selectors for the tour of India in 1995 under the leadership of Lee Germon.

He had a fantastic record in county cricket and had scored a century against Kumble when the Indian leggie was playing in for Northamptonshire. Perhaps it was that knock which made the selectors choose him for the Indian tour. The tour wasn't so disappointing for him as he played a couple of good knocks under trying circumstances.

Since then Roger Twose has been in and out of the New Zealand team. He was a big failure in West Indies when the team expected too much from him. That failure disturbed him to such an extent that he called it quits and started focusing on his career as a teacher in Wellington.

But cricket was everything to him. It was in his blood and he simply could not imagine his existence without this game. He discussed with friends, players and administrators before staging a comeback to the New Zealand team, but this time with a better degree of success.

He found a new atmosphere, a new confidence and became a transformed cricketer. It was this new zeal for life that made him strong, healthy and most importantly hungry for runs.

He found the shorter version of the game a very enjoyable proposition. "I really enjoyed my new role as a One-day player. I enjoy it because not only am I am making runs, but also making some concrete efforts to make my side the winner," he told this correspondent when he was in India last year to play One-day cricket.

It all began at the last edition of the World Cup in England. New Zealand were playing against the archrival Australia and critics, former players, commentators and bookies were all predicting an easy win for the eventual winner of the Cup.

But the match that turned out to be a pulsating one was the Roger Twose Versus Australia affair. No doubt New Zealand were chasing a rather small score of 219, but when the opposing team has the bowlers like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Damien Fleming it can never be an easy job.

Twose produced the kind of a dream innings, which every New Zealander hoped for. He played some extraordinary shots, which surprised and shocked the Aussies. He finished on 80 not out and also won the man-of-the-match award. Later on he described this knock as the most satisfying one of his career.

In the same World Cup he batted with same flair against India when he made 60 not out to put India out of the contention for a semi-final berth. He was again the man-of-the-match.

Since the World Cup Roger Twose has not looked back. True he is not a great finisher of the game as Bevan and he may not be a flyer between the wickets as again Bevan is, but when it comes to the strike rate he is not far behind the best name in the contemporary world of batting.

Like any true batsman, Roger Twose has got all the shots and on demand can play slam bang type of cricket with same precision. This makes Roger Twose a very, very special one-day cricketer.

In the on going ICC (International Cricket Council) Knock Out tournament, he has proved his mettle again in the two games against Zimbabwe and Pakistan in the same customary fashion. And definitely he is New Zealand's big hope in the final on Sunday.

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