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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: Meet the Kiwi giant who could catapult RCB to the summit

Bought for a whopping INR.15 crores in the IPL 2021 auction, Kyle Jamieson could well be the X-factor for RCB.

IPL 2021: Meet the Kiwi giant who could catapult RCB to the summit

With 36 wickets in just 6-Tests thus far, Kyle Jamieson has got heads turning (Source: stuff.co.nz)


Rashi Bhattacharyya

Published: 2 April 2021 1:15 PM GMT

During the recent auctions for IPL 2021, when Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings, and Royal Challengers Bangalore entered into a fierce bidding war over an unheralded Kiwi all-rounder, a buzz enveloped the auction tables.

After several rounds of fierce exchanges, when the hammer eventually dropped in the favour of Royal Challengers Bangalore, INR.15 Crore was spent.

Kyle Jamieson was going to rub shoulders with Virat Kohli.

Throughout the history of IPL, auctions have always featured highly expensive decisions. Some profitable and several disastrous.

And this year's event unexpectedly broke the existing records, despite being just a mini-auction.

South Africa's Chris Morris was swooped up by Rajasthan Royals for a whopping INR.16.25 crore, which made him the most expensive player in the history of IPL.

And when Royal Challengers Bangalore broke the bank for Jamieson, everybody took a moment to catch their breath.

The rise of Kyle Jamieson

In his initial days, Jamieson was a budding batting all-rounder. But something caught the eye of bowling coach Dayle Hadlee, who guided Jamieson to change his preference.
Soon, the teenager switched and became a bowling all-rounder in 2012.
His first international call-up was in 2014 when he donned the New Zealand colours for their Under-19 World Cup squad.
Later, he spent years in the domestic circuit, honing his skills, and made his Twenty20 debut for Canterbury during the 2016–17 Super Smash.
The exceptionally tall all-rounder (all of six feet eight inches) slowly garnered national attention with his powerful inswinger and the ability to score quick runs at the lower order.
During a 2019 Super Smash match between Auckland Aces and Canterbury Kings, Jamieson took six wickets for seven runs in just four overs. This feat, coupled up with the title of being the leading wicket-taker that season, helped Jamieson get a call for the New Zealand senior side.
In January 2020, Jamieson made his ODI debut against India.
And he began with a bang - picking up the player of the match for his decisive 25 not out and two wickets, an effort that helped the Kiwis defeat India.
He also made his Test debut during that very Indian tour.
His impact was immediate and a maiden first five-wicket haul that ensued rattled the Indians to the bone.

After his promising debut, Jamieson soon became a mainstay in the New Zealand squad.
He has further solidified his position in the national team with his exploits in Test cricket, where he not only has a batting average of 56.50 for his 226 runs in 6 Tests but also possess 36 wickets.
Earlier this year, he took a record 11 wickets for 117 runs during a match against Pakistan.
Only Daniel Vettori and Sir Richard Hadlee, the two New Zealand greats, have better figures than Jamieson in the longest format of the game.
Can Jamieson make an impact at RCB?

Having played just four T20I games, the 26-year-old does lack the international T20 experience.

Also, he has hardly played matches outside New Zealand, which may make his adaptation to Indian pitches all the more questionable.

But, with 190 runs and 54 wickets in domestic cricket and an exceptional record against big teams, Jamieson does have the potential to emerge as one of the real stars of IPL 2021.

Playing with international stalwarts like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers could also motivate the all-rounder to step up his game.

Furthermore, RCB is headed by Jamieson's compatriot Mike Hesson, who is more than equipped to aid the all-rounder, given his previous stint as the head coach of the New Zealand national squad

All said and done, recent form is everything and critics will be quick to point of that Jamieson hasn't had the best outings in recent T20I games against Australia and Bangladesh.

He picked up a solitary wicket in four T20Is against Australia and then just two more in three games against the visiting Bangladesh.

The decision to sign Jamieson, therefore, is undoubtedly a huge gamble on the part of the RCB management. Clearly, they are willing to risk it all in their quest for that elusive title.

RCB's brittle lower-order batting and an over-reliance on de Villiers and Kohli have been a sore spot for many years.
The faithful will only be hopeful that this Kiwi giant can wield his bowling magic and swing the fortunes in favour of RCB.
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