The first thing that went through all-rounder Jimmy Neesham’s mind when he was struck by a Mitchell Starc bouncer was the words of from former captain Brendon McCullum — “show no pain”.
Neesham failed to pick up a 148kph delivery from the left-arm fast bowler in their second one day international in Canberra on Tuesday and was hit on the right forearm.
The 26-year-old, outwardly at least, showed little effect of the blow and stared down Starc, who had come down the pitch to offer him some ‘advice’, before receiving treatment.
But the words of McCullum: ‘not to flinch, show no pain. Even if you think it’s broken’, were all he could think of, said Neesham, who scored 74 in the 116-run loss to Steve Smith’s side that secured the three-match series for the hosts with a game to spare.
“That’s something you were taught very quickly under Baz’s captaincy, not to show much pain when that happens,” Neesham told reporters on Wednesday. “Obviously he’s still got a bit of that legacy holding on there.”
The left-handed Neesham was on 57 at the time and said his big concern was whether he could continue to bat as the visitors attempted to chase 379 for victory after David Warner top scored with 119 in Australia’s 378 for five.
“It was more seeing whether I could hold the bat with the top hand. I gave it bit of a test and realised I might need couple of minutes to get feeling back in my hand,” said Neesham, who will have the arm examined before the final game in Melbourne on Friday.
“Batting wasn’t all that easy after that.”
With the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy now lost, Neesham said the team had been given a dressing down by coach Mike Hesson and captain Kane Williamson.
“Hess and Kane came out and made it pretty clear they weren’t all that happy with the performance and that’s fair enough,” Neesham said. “We know that’s not the sort of performances we want to be putting out on the park.”
Neesham added they would need to work on their bowling at the back end of the innings, having conceded 126 runs in the final 10 overs at Manuka Oval. In the first game in Sydney, the bowlers conceded 113 runs in the final 10 overs.
“We started quite well but going for 170 odd in last 15 overs is not what you want from a team that have shown they have the skills to bowl well at the death.”