Kyle Jamieson emerged as New Zealand’s most important player in their quest to become cricket’s first Test global champions, but he was quick to point out that he was simply “riding the coattails” of his more experienced teammates.
On day three in Southampton, Jamieson took five for 31 as the Black Caps knocked India out for 217, extending his amazing start to life on the big stage.
He has yet to play in a Test match when the qualifying period for this final began in 2019, and despite the fact that this is only his eighth Test appearance, he has already collected five five-wicket hauls and 44 scalps at an average of 14.13. Nobody has ever taken more for less in the history of the game.
Plenty of wickets on the third day of the ICC World Test Championship Final, but in between all that was some gorgeous batting, and a few emotions.
— ICC (@ICC) June 20, 2021
Despite this, he paid tribute to the Kiwi fraternity, beginning with captain Kane Williamson and continuing down to his fellow seamers Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner, who have a combined 206 appearances.
“It’s just good to be able to help. It’s been an amazing pleasure for me to be a part of this group,” he remarked.
“I’ve simply been able to go about my job, learn from these men, and sort of follow in their footsteps.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of the environment and culture that the boys have developed over time in terms of the pressure they create and the runs they score, and that has certainly made the move to international cricket very easy.
“The fact that you’re surrounded by some fairly world-class individuals allows you to ease into your role.”
Devon Conway, an even younger recruit to the side, was important in ensuring Jamieson’s efforts were rewarded, scoring 54 before being removed two balls before play was stopped due to bad light, leaving New Zealand at 101 for two.
Even a reserve day may not be enough to turn this position of strength into a win, with more heavy rain expected on Monday in a game that has already lost large swaths of time to the weather – but Jamieson is confident.
“We know things may happen quickly in England,” he remarked.
“If we can get 50, 100, or 150 points ahead, that will be fantastic. We’ll take what we can get as bowlers.”
Shubman Gill, an India batsman, was equally optimistic, with his team aiming to take advantage of Ishant Sharma’s late dismissal of Conway and claw their way back into the game.
He stated, “That was absolutely a crucial wicket for us.”
“I believe we could have claimed a couple more wickets if we had been able to bowl a couple more overs to Ross Taylor, who was a new batter for us. We’ll have a minor advantage over them when play resumes because both batters are new to the crease.”