The overhead conditions were cloudy and the pitch at Ageas Bowl had enough juice in it for the pacers. Yet, Jamieson managed to stand out from the other six quality pacers in the match. The figures of 22-12-31-5 on the second day of the World Test Championship final was as much a reflection of the conditions as this 26-year-old’s ability.
The Indian team touched down in England with a plan to keep the New Zealand bowlers under pressure. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were more proactive than reactive in a scenario where the fast bowlers were meant to dictate terms.
Standing out of the crease and skipping down to the pacers seemed to work just fine for the first hour of the Test on Friday. “Batting means to score runs. Rohit and Shubman countered the swing and also ensured the scoreboard kept moving. We had discussions before coming to England about how the batsmen would like to approach this game and tour. While we need to be disciplined but the intent is to score,” a rather pleased India batting coach Vikram Rathour said after the day’s play on Friday.
Jamieson did concede they were caught off guard by Shubman and Rohit’s approach. “It was interesting. We didn’t expect that. They batted well and put away balls which most other teams would leave,” Jamieson said on Friday.
“Everyone takes it differently. My take was that when they were walking that meant they were not comfortable inside the crease. I took it as a positive,” he added.
“Hang around in that area outside off-stump. Try to stay patient regardless of the batsmen moving around. We pride ourselves on bowling in one area for long periods of time,” Jamieson said of the plan. “We talked about wobbling the ball or moving it a little bit in the air after the first hour.” Having the ability to move the ball both ways in the air and off the pitch makes him all the more awkward to face.
Jamieson is a shrewd customer. When Virat Kohli, his skipper at RCB in the IPL, had asked him to bowl to him with the Dukes balls in the nets in April, he had turned down the offer. He read Kohli’s mind well in Southampton too. After pegging him back for most of Friday with short of good length balls outside off stump, he went a tad fuller and closer to stumps on Saturday to pin Kohli in front. That opened the floodgates as all his wickets came from that length.