A bruising, broad-shouldered batsman, and a disciplined medium-pace bowler, Colin de Grandhomme left Zimbabwe for Auckland in 2006, before eventually finding his way into New Zealand's representative teams. Unsurprisingly, his first international foray was in the T20 format. Having earned a reputation as a heavy hitter in New Zealand's domestic T20 competition, de Grandhomme earned a debut against his native Zimbabwe in 2012. He did not sufficiently impress to keep his place on that occasion, but continued to flourish on the domestic circuit.
In 2016, an unbeaten fourth-innings 144 off 147 balls, to lead Auckland's successful chase of 373, put him back into national reckoning, this time in the Test format. But it was with the ball that he left his first significant impression on international cricket; his 6 for 41 against Pakistan on a Christchurch green-top were the best figures for a New Zealand debutant, bettering a 65-year-old record.
From then on he was a fairly regular member of the New Zealand team in all three forms. He made his first Test century against West Indies in December 2017. He played a significant role in the 2019 World Cup, making a brilliant 47-ball 60 in a nail-biting winning chase against South Africa and 64 against Pakistan. In the extraordinary final against England, he was unplayable at times while bowling a vital spell taking 1 for 25 from 10 overs including the prized wicket of Joe Root.
De Grandhomme had represented Zimbabwe at the Under-19 World Cup in 2003-04, and broke into the Manicaland side in 2004-05 before ascending to Zimbabwe A and Zimbabwe Under-23s, for whom he scored a century against Eastern Province in the SAA Provincial Challenge. Soon, though, de Grandhomme felt his future lay outside Zimbabwe, and he quickly made a mark in Auckland. In 2008-09, he averaged 54.50 with the bat and 24.19 with the ball as Auckland won the State Championship.
In June 2009 he was named in a New Zealand Emerging Players team to take part in a quadrangular tournament in Australia. His figures in the Plunket Shield in the 2009-10 season were again strong, though his domestic limited-overs form was somewhat disappointing. A steady show in 2010-11 - during which he was part of the Auckland side that won the domestic one-day tournament and wrested the Twenty20 title from Central Districts - resulted in another call-up to the New Zealand Emerging Players team in 2011. He has scored over 600 runs in a season three times, since 2011, and it was his performance over several years, as much as the rapid 144*, that earned him a Test call-up.
Liam Brickhill and ESPNcricinfo staff