MANCHESTER -  The former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has lauded the dynamic that Colin de Grandhomme brings to the team, likening it to the impact Brendon McCullum had on the side four years ago.

While Kane Williamson understandably gained much of the focus after the victory against South Africa, de Grandhomme’s 60 off 47 balls was crucial in keeping New Zealand in the game while the captain was finding the fielders. It was just his second ODI half-century in 23 innings, but Hesson said he showed why he is such a valued member of the New Zealand unit.

“Kane won’t win New Zealand this tournament on his own. To go all the way you also need a player who is capable of snatching victory from nowhere in big games,” Hesson wrote in his column for Stuff.co.nz.

 “That’s the beauty of de Grandhomme and what he offers this Black Caps team. When you’re in all sorts of trouble, with a 20 percent chance of winning, he is one player who can turn a game on its head. In 2015 we had Brendon McCullum who played on instinct and so often got us off to a flyer. This, combined with the craft players in the rest of order, gave us that excellent balance and de Grandhomme can do something similar just from a different place in the order. He’s going to get out poorly and people will absolutely hammer him, but in our set-up if you play Colin you know exactly what you’re going to get, and you either take it or leave it. This was a great reason why you ‘take it’.”

Hesson also praised de Grandhomme’s role with the ball as he took 1 for 33 off his 10 overs as South Africa were rarely able to cut loose. “The way Kane used him, that slower pace was perfect on that surface. Colin clearly doesn’t bowl 140kmh, but he was able to get the most movement of anyone at Edgbaston…He’s often got what I call OSP (optimal swinging pace) and he was the only one who really swung the ball all day. It was one of those days where his pace was perfect for the conditions.”