Jimmy Neesham has used the New Zealand cricket post-season to realign his bowling action.

The 26-year-old heads to Ireland tomorrow night to prepare for four pre-Champions Trophy one-day internationals against Ireland and Bangladesh.

With 10 core Black Caps away on Indian Premier League duty, Neesham becomes a senior player under temporary captain Tom Latham. His all-round capabilities will be sought, as will his experience at county and league level in Britain.

Neesham admitted that while his batting had been "going nicely" over the last couple of limited overs series, his focus had been getting his bowling "up to scratch".

Advertisement

Since October, Neesham has played 16 ODIs, scoring 438 runs at an average of 33.69 and strike rate of 93. He scored half-centuries against India, Australia and South Africa.

His career batting average is 28.16 at a strike rate of 94.

With the ball he has taken 12 wickets at an average of 35.50, economy rate of 6.55 and strike rate of 33.

His career bowling average is 34.78 at an economy rate of 6.45 and strike rate of 32.

Neesham ruled out any suggestion of becoming a specialist batsman, despite a potential all-rounder bottleneck with Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner.

"It's probably the opposite," Neesham said. "There is no shortage of all-round options, so if I can improve my bowling it will put me at the head of the queue. There is no thought of becoming just a batsman.

"I've done a lot of work on my [bowling] alignment at the crease. Having a slightly unusual [front-on] action means the usual tips don't always apply. It's just a case of coming slightly wider of the crease sometimes.

"If you look back to bowlers like Lance Klusener, Makhaya Ntini and Andrew Flintoff, who also had more front-on actions, they tended to come wider of the crease than I do. If I come wider and angle in more at batsmen, it becomes a more consistent option."

Neesham has spent past seasons in the IPL, but no contract this year means he has worked on his strength and conditioning with Black Caps trainer Chris Donaldson. He has never played an international in England.

"I want to perform at the home of cricket in a major competition. There's no shortage of motivation."