New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson enjoyed a memorable Test debut in Monday’s 10-wicket win over India at the Basin Reserve and the towering pace bowler promises there is much more to come.
Jamieson, who stands 2.04 metres tall and gave up basketball in high school to focus on cricket, took four for 39, including the prized wicket of captain Virat Kohli, in India’s first innings total of 165 in the opener of the two-Test series.
Bowling first change behind the experienced pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee, the blond Jamieson made an immediate impression on batsmen and spectators alike.
An easy, balanced run-up followed by a high, relaxed action prefaced a threatening line and length which forced the batsmen to cover their off stump without being certain how much the ball would move off the seam or leap off the pitch.
He also looked quicker than the 130kph which the speed gun routinely reported, and on Tuesday Jamieson said he believed he was capable of rapid improvement in both speed and general performance.
“I’m still a long way off what I want to be as a bowler, with the stuff I’m starting to work on and in the next year or so I’m going to make massive strides,” he said.
“Whilst I am very happy with where I’m at now I think there is still a lot more to come.”
The 25-year-old also struck four sixes in an innings of 44 from 45 balls which helped New Zealand secure an eventually decisive first-innings lead after India, the world’s top-ranked Test side, had fought their way back into the contest.
His four lofted hits equalled the record for the most sixes in a Test debut innings.
Jamieson was probably not even in the running to make his debut before Neil Wagner withdrew from the squad but his superb display suggests it will now be difficult to overlook him.
Showing no sign of nerves against India, Jamieson said the quality running through New Zealand’s ranks allowed him to play freely.
“I actually was quite relaxed, I probably surprised myself a little bit over the last couple of week of how relaxed I have been,” he added.
“I guess that is the beauty of coming into this team, there are so many experienced heads and so many good cricketers that I just go out and enjoy myself.
“Day one was pretty clear on what we were to do with the pitch conditions and in that second innings was how we were trying to attack, into the wind, down breeze, what’s the pitch telling us, what’s the batters giving us.”
The second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch starts on Feb. 29.
NZ bowlers need to maintain intensity in second India Test: Coach Gary Stead
New Zealand coach Gary Stead felt his pace bowlers had never been more accurate than in their 10-wicket win over India in the first Test in Wellington but he expected the visitors would be more competitive in the second match in Christchurch.
Pace spearheads Tim Southee and Trent Boult returned to the side after missing New Zealand’s last Test against Australia in early January and combined to take 14 of the 20 Indian wickets to fall at the Basin Reserve.
Southee had match figures of 9-110, while debutant Kyle Jamieson impressed with 4-39 in India’s below par first innings total as the pace attack put the visitors under pressure for long periods and restricted their scoring.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the bowling unit and the way they went about taking 20 wickets on a pitch that had a little bit in it the whole time,” Stead told reporters on Tuesday, the day after his side completed the win early on the fourth day.
“From my perspective I think it was our most accurate performance with the ball.”
While they had the benefit of first use of a green Basin Reserve wicket, Stead admitted he had been surprised at how easily they ran through India’s lineup and dismissed them for 165 and 191.
“Yes, that was a surprise,” Stead said. “But I think that’s testament to the amount of pressure we put on them for a long period of time.
“We picked up wickets at times you might consider were critical in the match … and I guess that was the catalyst for the win.
“We got on a roll and I think when teams do that they can be hard to beat.”
Stead said that Neil Wagner, who missed the first game to be at the birth of his first child, would join the team in Christchurch for the second Test at Hagley Oval that starts on Feb. 29.
The left armer’s return would provide “a good selection dilemma” for the side in Christchurch, especially after Jamieson’s “outstanding” debut, Stead added.
“Whoever we go with, we know we will have to put in a performance that we did in this game, because we know India will get better,” he said.
“If we can be as accurate or as clinical as we were in this first game then we will be in for a cracking test.”
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