New Zealand cricket February 8, 2009

Jacob Oram considers giving up Test cricket

Cricinfo staff

Jacob Oram: "I would be lying if I said I haven't considered the prospect of cutting out bowling altogether" © AFP

Jacob Oram, the New Zealand allrounder, has said he is considering "cutting Test cricket altogether" and giving up bowling because of the spate of injuries that has kept him out of the national team.

"I would be lying if I said I haven't considered the prospect of cutting out bowling altogether,'' Oram told Sunday News. "I've also considered cutting Test cricket altogether.

"Those options have been floating around my head for some time now. It's a hard one because my head's thinking one thing and my heart's thinking another. At the moment, there's a bit of conflict there and I'm sort of looking for some divine intervention which will help me with the decision. That could be in a month's time or it could be in 12 months' time."

Oram suffered a variety of injuries in recent months. He returned home mid-way through the tour of Bangladesh in October and missed the Test series in Australia because of a back injury. A calf strain kept him out of the home Test series against West Indies and an Achilles injury cut short his participation in the one-day series that followed.

"It's frustrating for me being injured all the time and I know it's frustrating for other people as well, my team-mates included," Oram said. "There may have to be a decision soon but as of now one hasn't been made."

Oram is currently missing the Chappell-Hadlee Series in Australia but said he was "dead keen to play the Indians" when they tour New Zealand in February-March. "My recovery is progressing positively," he said. "It's slowed down a little bit in the last week or so but that's probably to be expected because I had some quite dramatic improvements in the first week or two. Unfortunately, I can't give an indication of when that date will be.

"I won't be going over to Australia next week. I've still got a fair bit to get through before I declare myself fit and get back into domestic cricket. Right now if I had to make a call, I'd say I'm pretty confident I will be back in time to play India."

Oram's frequent absence from the team drew criticism from former team-mate Craig McMillian who suggested that the allrounder was "wrapped in cotton wool". Oram said such comments fired him up to perform better.

"It does annoy me a little bit," he said. "I said a while ago when there was a little bit of controversy about me being injury-prone that I don't mind criticism when I bowl poorly or bat like crap. Things that happen on the park are open for scrutiny. But it's when your character and integrity gets called into play that it gets annoying.

"People don't have a clue what sacrifices I've made to get where I am and the hard times I've been through. To be injured and unable to follow through on all the hard work and sacrifice, it's so deflating."