Wed, 29 Mar 2023

Wellington [New Zealand], February 4 (ANI): New Zealand bowling all-rounder Kyle Jamieson said on Saturday that his time on the sidelines due to injury was "more of a blessing than a hindrance" and he returns to the national side "both physically and mentally fresher" after being out for seven months.

Jamieson had hurt his back during the Trent Bridge test against England. Since then, he has played only a handful matches for Auckland as a part of "cautious" return to the sport. He is keen to wear the Black cap again, though he is likely to feature in only one of two Tests. "It is certainly nice to be back in the squad, first time in a wee while, so excited about that," he said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.

"It has been nice, the journey through club cricket and the process of coming back. Nice to tick off a couple of milestones, and to have another one today [after being selected for the Test squad]," added Jamieson.

Jamieson had enjoyed a meteoric rise for Kiwis ever since his debut in 2020, helping his nation capture the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final against India. He was also the top five bowlers in Tests by ICC at the start of the tour to England. But the injury gave him a chance to recharge at home before starting rehab.

"[I have gone through] probably a whole range of emotions," he said. "You go through the initial frustration of the injury, you have a little bit of time at home and it is not too bad, then you see the boys playing on TV and you want to be out there. So a whole range of emotions, but right from early on I wanted to treat the process as more of a blessing than a hindrance and try to focus on what I was gaining from this time, six, seven months or whatever it has been. Try to focus my energy in that sort of way, and obviously nice to be back," said Jamieson.

"The nature of the schedule these days, we play so much cricket, and it had been two, two-and-a-half years straight for me. So to have an extended period at home as been nice, certainly feeling fresh, energised, both mentally and physically. So looking forward to taking this next step," added the bowler. Jamieson played the two T20Is and List A matches in domestic cricket for Auckland last month and his next step for a comeback will be when New Zealand XI will be playing against tourists ahead of the first match, which will be a day-night match from February 16 onwards in Mount Mauganui from February 16 onwards.

New Zealand will also be without the services of pace veteran Trent Boult, who had given up on his national contract in August last year.

Jamieson said that he had been building up his bowling overload in nets and head coach Gary Stead said that he will be playing only one Test against England and his availability to be there for the national side will be managed throughout the year.

"Feeling good, bowled a huge amount of overs," Jamieson said. "Not so much in games but I have been bowling since the start of November time, so there is a decent workload under my belt. It's just another step on the journey, how we manage these next couple of weeks will be an ongoing discussion," added the bowler.

Stead said that New Zealand could be making better use of all-rounder Daryl Mitchell as a fourth seamer potentially in home conditions and Ish Sodhi was preferred over Ajaz Patel as an attacking spinner, who could likely thrive against aggressive approach by England in Tests under leadership of skipper Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.

Jamieson was a part of two of three Test matches against England in away conditions and wanted to have a tussle with Stokes again.

"Certainly going pretty good, are not they? It's been entertaining to watch them change the way they play their cricket. As a fan of the game, it is just exciting to watch. It will be nice to see it again, up close and personal, in a couple of weeks' time, but it has been great for the game," concluded Jamieson.

Pacer Kyle Jamieson was added to New Zealand's 14-member squad for the home series against England starting later this month with as many as five quicks jostling for a place in the final XI on February 2.Jamieson, who last played for New Zealand on the Test tour in England last year, returns to the squad after recovering from a back ailment.

Jamieson features in a 14-player squad to face England in a two-Test series, starting with a Pink-Ball day-night Test at Bay Oval in Tauranga from February 16-20.The second Test of the series will be held at Wellington's Cello Basin Reserve from February 24-28, where strong crowds are expected with three days already close to being sold out.The Test Squad will assemble in Tauranga on Sunday, February 12.

Test squad: Tim Southee (c), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson and Will Young. (ANI)

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