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Meet Kyle Jamieson, New Zealand’s Morne Morkel in the making

At six feet and eight inches (2.03 metre), the 25-year old uncapped pacer Kyle Jamieson is the tallest cricketer in the Blackcaps’ camp. In fact, for his height and some similarity in bowling action, the youngster has already been tagged as New Zealand’s Morne Morkel in the making. And now, following a successful run at the domestic circuit as well as at the ‘A’ level, Jamieson has been called upon in the the injury-hit New Zealand pace attack for the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India, which starts in Hamilton on Wednesday (February 5).

The lanky right-armer doesn’t bowl at an express pace. He mostly touches the mid 130s. But the ability of swinging the ball as well as extracting bounce out of the surface are his prime weapons. In fact, Jamieson likes to use the short ball only as a surprise element.

Nevertheless, last year he registered figures of six for seven in a domestic T20 fixture (best ever by a New Zealand bowler and the fourth-best overall in T20 cricket) and four out of his six scalps came on short-pitched deliveries. So, if he gets picked in the XI during the ODI series, Jamieson indeed possess the threat of intimidating the Indians with some short stuff.

Meanwhile the Auckland pacer is coming into this series after taking six wickets in three 50-over matches against India A recently. In one of those games, he defended seven in the final over and registered his best ever List A figures of 4 for 49.

“The ‘A’ series gave me a kind of glimpse of how the Indian batters go about their business. So, it was good to have that experience across those three games and put some plans in place and happy to have a little bit of success,” Jamieson says in an exclusive chat with CricketNews.com on the sidelines of his team’s training session at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Tuesday (February 5).

However, with the prospect of bowling against the best batting line-up in the world coming up, Jamieson prefers to maintain a low-key approach. May be he is not willing to reveal his cards soon.

“It’s good to be around the group and just to witness two very good teams go head to head will be pretty cool.”

Later when the author tried to push him to provide a ‘spicy’ quote regarding the challenges of bowling against the mighty Indians, especially the likes of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, the youngster once again decided to play it safe.

“They are a pretty good team and have some success over the long period of time and those two you have mentioned [Virat and Rahul] are two very good batters. For me it’s kind of… learn, watch and execute my own kind of gameplans. Hopefully, the pitch conditions and game situations will age you or tie them down or getting them out.”

Well, with a List A batting average of 38.16,  Jamieson certainly knows which ball to play and which one to leave.

Nevertheless, despite his success in domestic white-ball circuit, the pacer’s preferred format is obviously Test cricket. Recently he did get a call-up in the red-ball squad as a replacement for the injured Lockie Ferguson for last year’s Boxing Day Test, but was not picked in the XI. Now, selection in the national squad has presented Jamieson with an opportunity of impressing the selectors ahead of the India Test series. Yes, ODIs are different ball game altogether but any significant performance against the Indians is bound to get recognised.

“In Australia, I learnt a lot and soaked up a lot. [But] As a cricketer I am willing to play all three formats. But obviously Test cricket is pinnacle format of the game,” he says.

With Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett and Scott Kuggeleijn in the squad for this ODI series, Jamieson doesn’t seem like the first-choice bowling option in the New Zealand playing XI. But with Tom Latham being in charge, who played alongside him for Canterbury (Jamieson moved to Auckland at the start of this season), his debut may be fastracked.

However, whether Jamieson makes his way in the playing XI in this series or not (ideally he should), one needs to admit that he does bring a x-factor in the struggling hosts’ line-up.

Sandipan Banerjee is a senior cricket journalist with experience stretching across more than a decade. Having founded a number of cricket information resources and prior experience of working in big-ticket events like ICC Cricket World Cup, IPL and ICC Champions’ Trophy; he joined the team at CricketNews.com in 2019 to provide strategic guidance and to assume a brand ambassador role as principal correspondent. Due to Sandipan’s commitment towards the game, it’s safe to assume that if India are involved in a Test, ODI or a T20I, he’ll be there covering the match!

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