Kyle Jamieson - New Zealand’s Star of the Future
25-year-old Auckland born Jamieson has it in him to reach great heights
Seventeen years ago New Zealand handed a Test cap to a talented young player in the series against India. Jacob Oram stood 1.98 metres in his socks and the tall all rounder went on to become a tower of strength for the country for a decade excelling in Test cricket and in the two shorter formats of the game.
There is every indication that another very tall player – a couple of inches taller than Oram - who was given his international cap last month will similarly be a tower of strength to New Zealand for an extended period. Unlike Oram who displayed his all round skills pretty early Kyle Jamieson made his entry on to the big stage largely on his skills as a pace bowler but did not take long to show his batting prowess – which in a way is not surprising for in his teenage years he was more a batsmen than a bowler. It was not until he made the step-up to under-19 cricket that Dayle Hadlee the former New Zealand pace bowler and elder brother of the legendary Richard Hadlee saw something in him and encouraged him to take up bowling. As he said recently after tasting success with both and ball against India in both Tests and ODIs, ''Now I am a bowler who can bat and am trying to get to the all rounder stage, that’s where I ideally would want to be.’’
Given his natural talent, his infectious enthusiasm and the multi talented skills he has displayed in the four international games so far there is little doubt that the 25-year-old Auckland born Jamieson has it in him to reach great heights and perhaps surpass the feats of Oram. Not many players have walked off with the man of the match award on their ODI debut like Jamieson did in his hometown last month. New Zealand were a shaky 197 for eight when Jamieson joined Ross Taylor and the two added 76 runs in 8.3 overs for the unbroken ninth wicket the debutant’s share being a rollicking 25 off 24 balls inclusive of two sixes. He then followed this up with two for 42 and the final New Zealand victory margin of 22 runs underlined how crucial his contribution was.
Fast tracked into the Test squad admittedly because Neil Wagner was unavailable for the first match Jamieson enhanced his reputation by taking four for 39 in the first innings and then coming good with the bat at No 9 with 44 off 45 balls an explosive knock that included four sixes. This performance saw him retain his place in the squad for the second Test even after Wagner returned. He did even better taking his maiden five-wicket haul and missing a maiden half century by a run – an all round effort good enough to win him a man of the match award.
Jamieson came into international reckoning on the strength of an impressive show while playing for New Zealand against India A in January. A keen student of the game he says he learnt a lot by watching Tim Southee and Trent Boult in the Tests. ''The way Trent bowled into the breeze, chopping and changing the angles, showing real intensity and accuracy, being relentless in going at the batsmen. I just observed all that’’ he said.
Now that he has tasted success the ambitious Jamieson wants more and he knows what his focus is going to be on. He is confident that there is a lot more to come from him. ''I am still a long way off where I want to be as a bowler and as a cricketer and I think in the next year or so I am going to make massive strides’’ he says confidently. Few will deem all this to be an idle boast given that most of his wickets in his four international matches so far have been top order batsmen. Oh yes, Jamieson is a dynamic player, a strong shouldered lad who is always itching to be in the thick of the action. New Zealand clearly have a star in the making and the next step towards attaining that stardom is the ODI series in Australia later this month.