Kyle Jamieson has emerged as New Zealand’s key man in their bid to become cricket’s first Test world champions, but the modest giant just shrugs that he’s merely “riding the coat-tails” of his more experienced teammates.
Jamieson claimed 5-31, bowling beautifully as the Black Caps skittled India for 217 on day three in Southampton and extending his remarkable start to life on the big stage.
The 26-year-old had yet to make his debut when the qualifying period for this final began in 2019 and although this is just his eighth Test cap, he has now taken five five-wicket hauls and boasts 44 scalps at 14.13 apiece.
Nobody in the history of the game has ever taken more for less.
And yet he was keener to pay tribute to the Kiwi brotherhood that has welcomed him with open arms, starting with captain Kane Williamson and running down to his fellow seamers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, who boast a combined 206 appearances.
“It’s just been nice to contribute. For me it’s been an absolute pleasure coming to this group,” said the 6ft 8in Jamieson.
“I’ve just been able to go about my business, learn off these guys and I guess just ride the coat-tails of them a little bit.
“In terms of the pressure they build and the runs they score, I can’t really speak highly enough of the environment and the culture that the guys have built over a period of time and that has certainly made the transition to international cricket pretty easy.
“The fact you’ve got some pretty world-class guys around you sort of allows you to settle into your role.”
An even fresher newcomer to the side was instrumental in making sure Jamieson’s good work did not go unrewarded, with Devon Conway notching 54 before being dismissed two balls before bad light stopped play to leave New Zealand 2-101.
With more heavy rain predicted on Monday in a game that has already lost huge swathes of time to the weather, even a reserve day may not be enough to turn this position of strength into a win – but Jamieson remains optimistic.
“We know in England that things can happen quickly,” he said.
“If we can get ahead by 50, 100, 150 then great. As bowlers we’ll take what we can get.”