By Niharika Raina
New Delhi, Nov 18 (SocialNews.XYZ) At six feet and eight inches, New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson is currently one of the tallest fast bowlers in the cricketing circuit. Since his international debut in February 2020 when India were the visitors, Jamieson has been viewed as an asset for New Zealand with bat and ball in all formats of the game, especially in Test matches.
That became evident when Jamieson ran through the Indian batting order in the first innings, clinching figures of 5/31, to set the base for New Zealand winning the inaugural World Test Championship Final at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton in June 2021.
But a stress reaction in his back during the Test tour of England led to him being out of cricketing action since June this year. In an exclusive interview with IANS, facilitated by Prime Video, Jamieson looks at India's white-ball tour of New Zealand, reflections on recovery from injury, and more.
Q. How do you see this India-New Zealand white-ball series panning out and who you think will be vital for the Blackcaps?
A. Hopefully in a positive way for New Zealand, that'd be nice. But, they're always fiercely competitive games and often very close and very, very small margin. So I'm sure that'll be the case again. But hopefully we're on the right side of the result. Probably looking at Lockie Ferguson, with that bit of pace and crack up in a number of different line-ups with that expectation. I will be picking them to make some inroads.
Q. Post the 2019 ODI World Cup semifinal, there now seems to be a rivalry between India and New Zealand. Do you feel the same about India-New Zealand matches having a rivalry in cricket now?
A. Probably in a very friendly way. That's probably the nature of the game, mainly because there's been some great contest within two teams, and they're often very closely-fought battles. There's some great respect -- guys have been able to share their sheets with them and different leagues around the world. So there's a great friendship and bonds, but then also some fiercely competitive games of cricket. That's probably where the rivalry comes from. But it's always a great spectacle to be a part of.
Q. How has been the recovery going for you from the back injury sustained in the England series? Did this period from injury recovery and rehabilitation given you any learnings/reflections for future?
A. It's actually been quite beneficial in a way, to spend some time almost forced away from the game. It's probably allowed me to reconnect with my perspective on the game. When the cricket stuff is, where you're trying to grow with your game, how that looks moving forward, how you can structure your schedule, and, what's important in terms of me coming back into this group, hopefully to contribute to this team. Anytime you get a chance to step away from the game, albeit if it's forced, at times, it's a good chance to reflect and just reset and then go again.
Q. In your career till now, you have had moments where you left cricket fans enthralled. But being Player of the Match and leading New Zealand to winning the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, how pleasing was it for you to be a vital cog in the wheel for the Blackcaps to win WTC and the mace?
A. Oh, yes. Not something of a vital cog, but a cog, I suppose in the wheel. Just called in to be a part of that moment, with a group of guys that have done so much for this game over a long period of time. So to sort of slip into the change room over the last couple of years and ride off some of the success has been pretty special.
Q. Making it to the New Zealand side hasn't been easy with presence of Tim, Trent and Neil. How enjoyable has it been for you to bowl alongside a glittering trio who have carried the Blackcaps bowling responsibilities for so long?
A. It's been awesome. Probably one of the highlights of my career so far has been able to play alongside those guys. (Tim, Trent and Neil) just have had such outstanding careers for a long period of time and just a (huge) wealth of knowledge. They are just three great human beings to sort of share the sheds with and be a part of that. Being a member of that four-pronged pace attack has been probably one of the highlights of my career.
Q. Want to know from you that how important it is for an all-rounder to keep himself evolving to adapt to new challenges in international cricket?
A. Massively important. I think if you're not moving forward, you're probably going backwards. So that's the nature of the game. Everyone's moving and moving forward. So quickly, you've got to kind of keep up with the trend a little bit. It's always, I guess, an ever changing thing to keep up (with). It's something you're always trying to juggle, with a number of different factors. But you're always trying to, I guess, grow your game and just move yourself forward.
Q. How pivotal has been the role of Dayle Hadlee in your development as an all-rounder?
A. Massive. He's probably the first one that saw any sort of bowling talent within me and sort of got me to switch to fast bowling. So if I hadn't probably met him, I might have been languishing away somewhere else. But he's been huge, especially in the early stages of my career. He's given me the fundamentals of my game, and bowling and the understanding of bowling. So, hugely thankful to him. I don't think I would have been here without him.
Q. Is being a genuine allrounder for New Zealand in all formats a goal which keeps you motivated for the long term?
A. For sure, that's always the North Star. I still think there's a way to go. But it's always the thing that I'm trying to chase whether I get there or not, it's sort of irrelevant for me. If that's my goal, and I'm sort of working towards that. Hopefully, my game will just improve over a period of time and just keep on that work. We'll see where we end up.
Q. After a really great time in the international arena, you had some dip in form in between before the back injury happened in England. How do you deal with lows after having experienced some really good highs in the start of international career?
A. I suppose it depends on what your definition of form is really. I don't view numbers or outcomes as success and failure. That's definitely not how I view the game. For me, success isn't the stats or the outcome things. It's how I'm growing as a person, as a player, how I'm contributing to the team. Whether those numbers spit out, good ones, great. If they don't, that's sort of irrelevant really, for me. If you focus too much on that outcome stuff, you can kind of get wrapped up by it. I don't really think it's a narrative that is too applicable to what we do, and certainly not how I like to operate.
Q. You've shared the dressing room with a number of Indian players through the IPL. How has that experience helped you in your cricketing career?
A. We get to share the dressing room with many players around the world. You're always learning whenever you are landing in India, with the IPL. So to share the sheds with some world-class players, you're always learning, there's always different ways of going about it. It's always nice to see new ideas and have fresh eyes and you're always constantly trying to grow and that's certainly one way of doing that.
Q. Last year, you came to India as a member of the New Zealand team and bowled on Indian pitches in Tests for the first time. How was that experience for you of bowling on Indian pitches, which are completely different in nature from what you find back home?
A. It's a lot different what we get at home, that's for sure. It's again, a great learning experience. You got to have some different skill sets to give you the best chance of success over there. It's just a great contrast and it's a beauty of the game. When we play, I travel around the world and experience different conditions and different challenges. So yeah, it's different, but also exciting at the same time.