The towering Kyle Jamieson had a dream Test debut for New Zealand with three wickets, including the prized scalp of Virat Kohli, winning glowing praise from India on day one of the first Test in Wellington yesterday.
India were struggling at 122 for five when rain swept in at tea to wash out the final session, after the 2.03m (6ft 8in) Jamieson had taken three for 38.
“The way he used the new ball was fantastic,” said India opener Mayank Agarwal.
“He was getting a lot of bounce, especially since the wicket was soft. He was getting extra kick as well.
“Credit to him that he bowled well with that height on this wicket, and the areas and the consistency he bowled with was terrific.” Jamieson, who further repaid the selectors’ faith with an excellent catch in the deep to remove Agarwal, was called in to the New Zealand squad as cover during Neil Wagner’s paternity leave.
While not as quick as Wagner, the 25-year-old used his height to extract extra bounce that troubled the Indian top order.
“It’s still trying to sink in. The last couple of weeks have been surreal,” Jamieson said of his sudden rise, which began with his maiden appearance for New Zealand in a one-dayer against India this month.
He described capturing the key wicket of Kohli, the world’s top-ranked batsman for two as “massive”.
It continued a below-par tour of New Zealand for the Indian captain whose top score was 51 in the first one-day international, and five times he has failed to reach 20.
Jamieson removed Cheteshwar Pujara for 11 and then outsmarted Kohli in a nine-ball burst before lunch.
He kept the Indian skipper on the back foot for a few deliveries before pitching one up, wide of off stump, which drew Kohli forward and the ball was nicked to first slip where Ross Taylor clasped the catch in his fingertips.
Jamieson added to his wicket tally after lunch with another fuller delivery that Hanuma Vihari (seven) edged to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, and he showed his safe hands to catch Agarwal for 34 after the Indian opener top-edged Trent Boult to long leg.
“My role is to try and make them play and get extra bounce as well, try and bring them forward,” Jamieson said.
“With my height I can afford to go a fraction fuller, especially here as well with the extra bounce. I try and make guys commit to play off the front foot then if it does swing or seam you’re a chance of bringing the edge in.
“As a tall guy, it (the ball) comes from a steeper angle. I’m not as quick as some of the other guys around the world but I think my short ball is a weapon from the height I can bowl it. I try and use it as much as I can as well as keeping it fuller.”
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl first with a green wicket and were rewarded early when Tim Southee removed Prithvi Shaw for 16.
Ajinkya Rahane was unbeaten on 38 when the rain set in with Rishabh Pant on 10.
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