19 years back, a 6’6 inches bloke named Jacob Oram made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe. Given how the series panned out for him, nobody would’ve imagined how far he would go or what great heights would he achieve.
A lanky medium pacer who had the ability to tonk huge maximums, Jacob Oram went on to become one of the finest all-rounders for New Zealand.
Fast-track to 2020.
To a side that already has genuine and match-winning all-rounders like Jimmy Neesham, there appears to have arrived a man who can offer bright hope to both departments.
This, mind you, are interesting times for New Zealand, both bellied with challenges and decorated with opportunities.
On the one hand, the likes of Boult and Southee, are at their peak. But the duo won’t seem to mind someone who can rise as the team’s Man Friday if either among them or any of the rising names- Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, and the often on-and-off Hamish Bennett- is injured or simply not available.
On the batting front, it would be exciting if de Grandhomme, unquestionably exciting but often struck with patchy form, would find another figure who can bowl with tremendous pace, take wickets and enable to elongate New Zealand’s tail.
For a team that wins hearts exemplified the close-knit cricketing Mantra, won’t you say these are exciting times for someone like the new giant on the block?
Of late, the cricketing world has seen a slightly Jacob Oram-esque captivating new arrival in tall medium-fast bowler, Kyle Jamieson.
For starters, those with a mighty frame are hard to ignore anyway.
So for the right-arm pacer- who showed he can bat with fairly respectable control and guile- even if Kyle Jamieson were to desire to eschew the highlight he deservingly holds, he’s got a little option.
But here’s what’s interesting about him.
He can extract a lot of bounce from the surface and turn up, when needed, as a batsman who’s any day better than some nervy bowler who just likes to slog.
What seemed like someone who may just garner interest for his imposing figure, Kyle Jamieson showed promise immediately.
Mind you, his debut series against the number one test side in the world, wouldn’t have made him breathe any sigh of relief.
You perform well against India and you immediately offer bright smiles to those who back you.
Kyle Jamieson, 93 Test runs already, in addition to 9 brilliant wickets from just 2 games, did that.
But the three-match ODI series against the same opposition already played the precursor to a memorable Test outing.
Having being whitewashed in the T20Is, New Zealand’s fate in the ODIs could have been different.
And let there be no confusion about it for had Jamieson not struck a valuable 76-run ninth-wicket stand, which helped New Zealand reach 273 during the 2nd ODI at Auckland, the turnaround wouldn’t have been reached.
With the ball, he scalped 2 wickets, more importantly, Navdeep Saini’s, who was taking the bowlers at will and could have taken the game away from the hosts.
Eventually, New Zealand won by 22 runs and sealed the series 2-nil.
But Kyle Jamieson holding his ground in high-pressure ODIs was offered a reward.
A reward that would result in him being included in the Test series, the last leg of India’s forgettable journey.
The all-rounder, who’s only just begun what could be a fascinating journey, enjoyed an unforgettable debut at Wellington, where he claimed Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli as his first two wickets of his test career.
Now, how about that?
Surely, Kyle Jamieson’s eagerness to prove himself worthy of his team’s support may not have found a better reward for his hard work.
He ended up taking 4 wickets and again, played an important knock with the bat down the order.
In an age where one likens tail-enders hitting one shot too many only during desperate, unexpected times, Kyle Jamieson adding 44 runs off just 45 balls was breathtakingly simple.
Breathtaking for the refreshing sight of a bowler holding fort. Simple for the quintessential New Zealand-ness of that effort; simple yet stoic.
That knock proved vital. New Zealand added 183-run as a first-inning lead, eventually taking the game away from India.
Then, at Christchurch, Kyle Jamieson came with even better returns.
He picked his first fifer (ever) and thereby earned his first man of the match performance in Test cricket.
While Jamieson was lauded for his batting contribution down the order, many are still oblivious to the fact the Auckland-born cricketer was primarily a batsman, until one-day Dayle Hadlee (New Zealand former fast bowler) told him to change his primary skill to bowling.
“I was pretty much a batter all through high school. I made the New Zealand under-19s and Dayle Hadlee got a hold of me and told me to run in, which shifted me towards becoming more of a bowler,” Jamieson was quoted on www.stuff.co.nz.
Jamieson learned fast bowling from Dayle Hadlee (former Test fast bowler) and in a couple of years, developed himself into an eye-catching one (all thanks to his extra inches that God has blessed him with).
WHAT LIES AHEAD?
Injuries to bowling mainstays gave Jamieson the chance to leave a lasting impression but would he be considered for the coming tours, knowing the likes of Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson are all fit and fine, is still a big question.
New Zealand is blessed with some supremely talented fast-bowlers in Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, and Neil Wagner, to name a few. And to make a place in the eleven at the expense of any of the mentioned names would still require a few more fruitful series for him.
JAMIESON’S BATTING PROWESS COULD WELL GIVE HIM THE NOD THOUGH
Looking at New Zealand’s bowling attack, only injuries to regular fast-bowlers can lead him into the eleven; however, his penchant for batting can help him make a case as a potential all-rounder in the team.
Colin-de Grandhomme who has been around for quite a while boasts of a decent record in Test matches, where he has amassed 1185 runs and picked 47 wickets in 24 test matches. However, his record in ODI cricket is anything but impressive.
Grandhomme, who wasn’t perhaps himself in the T20Is, hasn’t been consistent both with either bat or ball for some time now.
So New Zealand could make a decision about his future, given a young prospect is raring to go.
If Williamson (who defends his men with charismatic resistance even when one fears the worst for them), decides to bring Kyle Jamieson in the ODI team at the expense of de Grandhomme, then the latter could have a chance of becoming a force to reckon with and replicate Jacob Oram’s heroics in International cricket.
But these permutations and combinations are up the team’s alley, not ours.
We couldn’t be happier that world cricket has found a new figure, who at 25, cuts a figure of poise.
Did he ever seem afraid of tackling India?
For now, one wishes Kyle Jamieson makes the most of whatever opportunities come his way and hopefully gets a contract next year in the IPL having gone unsold this season.