New Zealand’s Kyle Jamieson ‘feeling mentally and physically fresh’, in a position for comeback from back injury

Kyle Jamieson has tried to treat his extended spell on the sidelines as “more of a blessing than a hindrance” and hopes to go back to New Zealand’s Test side both mentally and physically fresher after lacking the final seven months with a back injury.Jamieson hurt his back right through the Trent Bridge Test in June, on New Zealand’s tour of England, and has only played a handful of games for Auckland since, as a part of a “cautious” return to playing. He used to be named in the Test squad on Thursday for the home series against England starting later this month and is eager to pull on a black cap again, albeit he’s only likely to feature in one of the most two Tests.

“It’s certainly nice to be back in the squad, first time in a wee while, so excited approximately that,” he said. “It’s been nice, the journey through club cricket and the process of coming back. Nice to tick off a few milestones, and to have another one today [after being selected for the Test squad].”

Jamieson had enjoyed a rapid rise since debuting for New Zealand in 2020, helping his country to win the ICC World Test Championship and being ranked the ICC’s No. 5 bowler in Tests at the start of the England tour. But the injury gave him a chance to step off the treadmill and recharge at home before beginning rehab.

“[I’ve 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 isn’t too poor, then you see the boys playing on TV and you wish to have to be available in the market. So a whole range of emotions, but correct from early on I wanted to treat the process as more of a blessing than a hindrance and take a look at to concentrate on what I used to be gaining from this time, six, seven months or whatever it’s been. Try to focus my energy in that sort of way, and obviously nice to be back.

“The nature of the schedule nowadays, we play such a lot cricket, and it had been two, two-and-a-half years straight for me. With the intention to have an extended period at home as been nice, certainly feeling fresh, energised, both mentally and physically. So taking a look forward to taking this next step.”

Jamieson to play in England warm-up match

Jamieson played two T20s and two List A games in domestic cricket for Auckland final month, and will take the next move towards a comeback when playing for a New Zealand XI against the tourists in Hamilton ahead of the first Test, a day-night game in Mount Mauganui starting on February 16.

New Zealand will be without Trent Boult for the series, but while Jamieson said he had been building up his workloads bowling in the nets, Gary Stead, New Zealand’s head coach, indicated that he used to be only likely to play one Test against England, so as to managing his availability through the year.

“Feeling good, bowled a enormous amount of overs,” Jamieson said. “Not such a lot in games but I’ve 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.”

Stead said that New Zealand could look to make greater use of Daryl Mitchell’s bowling, potentially as a fourth seamer in home conditions, while Ish Sodhi used to be preferred to Ajaz Patel as an attacking spin option who used to be much more likely to thrive against the aggressive approach pioneered by England under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, which saw New Zealand beaten 3-0 right through final year’s tour of the country.

Jamieson used to be involved in two of those three Tests, and used to be eager to tussle with Stokes’ side again. “Certainly going pretty good, don’t seem to be they? It’s been entertaining to watch them change the way they play their cricket. As a fan of the game, it’s just exciting to watch. It will be nice to see it again, up near and personal, in a few weeks’ time, but it’s been great for the game.”

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