After tasting incredible success at the start of his career, New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson faced his first string of failures in the recent T20I series versus Australia. The paceman gave away runs at a horrible economy rate of 11.66 and picked up just 1 wicket from his four outings.
Jamieson’s spells of 1/32, 0/56, 0/38 and 0/49 caught wider attention and received scrutiny, not just because the fast-bowler was failing to cope up to some rampaging Australian batting on flat pitches but also due to the fact that he had just bagged a major IPL deal.
The tall quick found multiple bidders at the IPL 2021 auction in Chennai and eventually earned a hefty contract of INR 15 crores with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the league’s forthcoming edition.
While a school of thought said RCB have overestimated Jamieson’s value, the auction dynamics are such that sometimes you don’t have much control over the bidding process as a team. The RCB kept fighting hard for Jamieson till the other franchises surrendered the quest.
The performances against Australia may lead people into believing the RCB think-tank made a massive error in judgement. Jamieson also is still relatively inexperienced as a T20 pacer. He has played only 42 matches in his overall career in the format so far and has gone for 8.33 runs per over.
So the doubts that RCB have backed a player who is still only finding his feet in the format are possibly justified. But one can also understand why the team opted to walk this path. Kyle Jamieson possesses fine raw materials that with time are expected to hold him in good stead. The pacer has a tall stature, express pace and can nail the hard lengths on his days. It’s a matter of time and experience, and he will be executing his skills under pressure more regularly.
RCB keeping faith on Kyle Jamieson
And so when Mike Hesson, the RCB director of cricket, reinforced faith over Kyle Jamieson despite his Australia struggles, it wasn’t unexpected.
“He’s struggled, probably for the first time in international cricket really, which I don’t think is a bad thing,” Hesson said in a conversation with Ian Smith for Sky Sports NZ.
“He’s battled to find his lengths, which when you’re put under pressure, that can happen. And pressure not only from the opposition but also the weight of expectations. For Kyle, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
“He’s a smart enough cricketer, surrounded by good people, and he’ll come out of the other side. When you look at a player, you don’t look at a player just over a very short period of time. You look at the characteristics that he’s got. He’s got some good fighting qualities.”
“He struggled, he didn’t find his lengths, he looked like he lost his run-up. We know he’s a very good player and although we would like him to be performing better, we’re not too worried just yet,” he added.
For Hesson, there is little doubt that Jamieson will be better for his failures.
From the outside, however, there was a mental assertion that the weight of his IPL prize has played into Jamieson’s mind and the 26-year-old felt desperate to justify that money through the series against Australia. There is only a slender gap between being intent and desperate, and the general consensus said, Jamieson has erred in how he has approached the series against Australia.
But that is in the past now. Jamieson can only control what is to come. And to follow is a limited-overs series against Bangladesh at home, including three T20Is before he flies across to India for the IPL 2021 campaign. The series gives Jamieson a fantastic opportunity to regain his rhythm and form, basically make amends before he faces the toughest T20 challenge playing for RCB.
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