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Opinion

Will the Black Caps select a rookie for Sydney?

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31st December, 2019
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Know the name Kyle Jamieson? I didn’t either, but he has been named the rookie replacement for injured New Zealand speedster Lockie Ferguson.

At 2.03m tall, Jamieson has the physical attributes to exploit any bounce on Australian pitches.

The right-armer sends the ball down at great height and has taken 72 first-class wickets at 27.93. He has not played for the Black Caps but has impressed in domestic four-day cricket, T20s and for New Zealand A.

He sounds like a Bruce Reid type of bowler and could well be a bolter for the third Test, starting in Sydney on Friday.

If the tourists want to continue their short-pitched bowling to Steve Smith and others, Jamieson would be ahead of Matt Henry. The 24-year-old can swing the ball and earlier this year took a stunning 6-7 in T20 cricket.

Coach Gary Stead described the Aucklander’s action as “uncomplicated”.

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Should Jamieson take the place of either Tim Southee or even Colin de Grandhomme? It would be a big risk but what do the Black Caps have to lose? It worked with Tom Blundell, so why not give Jamieson a go?

Former NSW spinner Will Somerville is set to take the place of Mitchell Santner, who has been shown up for his deficiencies on this tour. De Grandhomme has also been disappointing, another to be shown up in Australian conditions.

Jamieson can bat – he hit a century for New Zealand A against the English last year – so would anything be lost by selecting him?

The line-up would look weaker without Southee in there so de Grandhomme is under the biggest threat.

Tim Southee appeals

Tim Southee (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The only change talked about for Australia is the selection of Mitchell Swepson.

Shane Warne says the right arm spinner could be selected ahead of Nathan Lyon, his logic for giving another tweaker experience a plausible one. But it’s generally accepted you don’t change a winning team, and with Australia intent on regaining the No.1 world ranking, I don’t see Lyon being dropped.

Strange how when New Zealand are second and Australia further down the ranking system was called flawed, but now that Australia are close to number one all is legitimate!

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New Zealand needs to become more familiar with Aussie conditions – play more Tests, feature in the Big Bash, any means necessary – if they are to be competitive.

The batsmen have been woeful, showing unfamiliarity with quick bowling. It would be for the benefit of Australian cricket if New Zealand was played against more regularly, as the Boxing Day crowds show there is tremendous interest and support for the Black Caps.

Imagine what interest would have been created if New Zealand had been more competitive.

When Australian rugby was woeful in the 1970s, the All Blacks gave them more opportunity to play Tests and the Wallabies went from probably the worst team in world rugby to being world beaters.

Why can’t Australian cricket do the same for the Black Caps? It would provide a great boost to both countries and a greater rivalry would ensue.

A big brother against little brother contest is more appealing than against a distant cousin!

Getting back to Kyle Jamieson, I hope he has impressed in training and will be given an opportunity to play in Sydney.

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