Cricket: New Zealand's Jamieson seizes opportunity against India

By Greg Stutchbury
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Cricket: New Zealand's Jamieson seizes opportunity against India

New Zealand v India - First Test

By Greg Stutchbury

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson was probably not even in the running to make his test debut against India before Neil Wagner withdrew from the squad but the towering pace bowler's superb display on Friday suggests it will now be difficult to overlook him.

Jamieson, a good basketball player at secondary school, took 3-38 from 14 overs at the Basin Reserve as India limped to 122-5 at tea before heavy rain washed out the final session.

New Zealand had looked set to reunite their experienced pace trio of Trent Boult, who returned from a broken hand, Tim Southee and Wagner against Virat Kohli's side in the first match of the two-test series.

But with Wagner a late withdrawal as he awaited the birth of his first child, the 2.03m-tall Jamieson was told on Thursday he would make his test debut.

While not of express pace -- Jamieson rarely reaches 140 kph -- his height creates issues for batsmen with the angle of delivery. He also moves the ball in the air and off the pitch.

It took just 15 deliveries for him to make an impact as the ball jumped up off a length and seamed away from Cheteshwar Pujara, who got an edge through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

Even better was to come.

Jamieson enticed Kohli into a drive but the world's top-ranked test batsman got a thick edge to Ross Taylor, who snapped up the catch in his 100th test.

"It has been a pretty surreal last couple of weeks," said Jamieson, who also made his one-day debut earlier this month.

"For me test cricket has always been the pinnacle and there were a few emotions when we did the cap presentation last night (Thursday)."

Despite making his test debut, Jamieson said he did not really have any nerves, especially since he was given the opportunity to bowl downwind.

His dismissal of Kohli saw him leap high in the air in celebration.

"He's a pretty good batter and such a key to their batting lineup," Jamieson said.

"To get him early was a massive thing for us as a group ... and it was pretty special."


(Editing by Peter Rutherford)