The independent voice of cricket

England v New Zealand

Is Devon Conway’s the best ever start to an international career?

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Devon Conway’s spectacular start to life on the international stage continued on Friday with a score of 80 against England in the second Test at Edgbaston.

Having scored a double hundred on debut at Lord’s, Conway now has 303 runs in three Test innings so far, which takes him to a startling batting average of 101. At one stage during his knock in Birmingham, Conway looked to be threatening Tip Foster’s record for the most Test runs after three innings in the format – the Englishman had 355 runs to his name after the conclusion of his second Test appearance.

What is particularly remarkable about Conway is that he’s started brilliantly in all formats of the game. The 29-year-old made his T20I debut last November and has gone on to rack up 473 runs at an average of 59.12 and impressive strike rate of 151.11 – no-one with more T20I runs than Conway has as high a batting average.

When it comes to ODI cricket, the sample size is small but also highly impressive. After three appearances against Bangladesh, the South Africa-born left-hander has hit 225 runs at an average of 75, including a high score of 126. The record for the most ODI runs after four completed innings belongs to Temba Bavuma (280 runs) – Conway could threaten that the next time he plays in the format. Put all of his international numbers together and you end up with a particularly tantalising record: 17 innings, 1,001 runs at 71.50, six half-centuries and two tons. Don Bradman is the only man to have hit more than 1,000 international runs at a higher average.

Comparisons have already been made between Conway and former Australia left-hander Mike Hussey, who had to wait till he was 28 before beginning life at international cricket. Hussey himself enjoyed a spectacular start to his stint at the highest level: after 24 ODI innings, Hussey averaged 100.22; after 29 Test knocks, he averaged 86.18. The numbers did drop off but Hussey still enjoyed a fine career for his country. New Zealand will hope Conway follows  a similar path.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99