Cricket: Devon Conway readies for first Basin Reserve home test as Blackcaps face England series finale

While Devon Conway has already made a stellar start to life as a Blackcap, a first test match on his home ground beckons for New Zealand's top-order lynchpin.

Since his debut in 2021, scoring a double-century at Lord's, Conway has quickly become one of the mainstays of the New Zealand test side.

The elegant left-hander averages more than 53 with the bat in test cricket and has scored four centuries in just 13 tests, becoming the fastest New Zealander to the mark of 1000 runs.

But while Conway has thrived in conditions around the world, scoring runs in New Zealand, England and even Pakistan, he's yet to sample batting at the ground that saw him catch the eye of New Zealand selectors.

Devon Conway against England.
Devon Conway against England. Photo credit: Photosport

After swapping his native South Africa for Aotearoa in 2017, Conway stood out for Wellington at the domestic level, as the question became when - and not if - he'd be available for the Blackcaps.

That next step came at the end of 2020, and Conway hasn't looked back since, becoming a regular across all formats.

The 31-year-old was part of the Blackcaps side that won the World Test Championship in 2021, and qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup final later that year - only to be scratched by a self-inflicted broken hand.

And while he's already achieved more than many other players to wear the silver fern in previous eras, turning out on his home ground is still a feat to be ticked off.

After making the highest score of the New Zealand top order in the Blackcaps' loss to England at Mt Maunganui, with a first innings 77, it's unlikely Conway will make way for the series finale starting on Friday.

As New Zealand's most storied cricket venue, the Basin Reserve's history is something Conway can't wait to experience for himself in a test match.

Devon Conway celebrates his century.
Devon Conway celebrates his century. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I just love the history of the Basin Reserve," said Conway. "It's been around for a long time.

"There's been some special innings that've happened here. If you look at Brendon McCullum's 300 he got here against India, that's one that'll be in my memory for a very long time, and probably etched in history for a long time.

"I enjoy batting on this surface, there's generally good pace [and] good bounce. Hopefully that's the case this week, and we can continue batting here at the Basin."

If Conway's record in other formats is anything to go by, enjoying batting at the Basin is definitely the case.

In his one and only one-day international there, Conway scored 126 against Bangladesh, while his highest first-class score for Wellington, 327 not out, also came at home. 

But the Blackcaps arrive in Wellington with their batting order under immense pressure after the collapse at Bay Oval.

Bowled out for 126 in chase of 394, the Blackcaps' top order crumbled to 28/5 on the penultimate evening, against England's attack with a pink ball.

However, while changes are pondered with Will Young waiting on the sidelines, Conway is backing whoever is selected to do the job at the second time of asking.

"All the batters we have in the setup are well equipped to do the goods," he said.

"I'm not sure what way they're going to go in selection, so we're just going to have to prepare accordingly.

"Everyone [will] prepare as best as they possibly can, and do the goods when they get the opportunity."

The Blackcaps are currently winless in their last seven tests, with five losses and two draws in that time.