WELLINGTON (Reuters) - 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.
Editing by Peter Rutherford
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