New Zealand news February 17, 2009

Oram wants more than just a batting role

Cricinfo staff

Jacob Oram: "Would I have got eight years [in the national side] if I had stuck with just batting?" © AFP

Jacob Oram, the New Zealand allrounder, has said he has recovered from his Achilles tendon injury sustained during the ODI series at home against West Indies, which kept him out of the recent one-dayers against Australia. Hoping to get back to full fitness ahead of the home series against India, Oram said he will be playing as a batsman in Central Districts' Twenty20 clash with Otago on Friday.

Oram, though, was keen to resume his bowling duties as well. "Would I have got eight years [in the national side] if I had stuck with just batting?" he told the New Zealand daily, the Manawatu Standard. "I don't want to do that. It's like asking someone to do half the job. I'm not a batsman, I'm an allrounder, and I'm enjoying what I'm doing.

"I fully agree that the best way to stay injury-free is to do it [bowl] as soon as you pick a ball up. Then your body adapts to the rigours of bowling. I didn't really put it in until my early 20s and that's pretty late to start bowling."

The 30-year-old Oram said his tendon was close to being 100% repaired after a slow build-up in the gym. "If I left it any longer, the Indian series would be gone and the season would be a write-off," he said. "I'm confident I will be OK."

Oram said that over the last five weeks, he had given the injury some time to settle down and worked on strengthening the calf before resuming bowling. Oram admitted that getting injured so often was frustrating, but said he had learned to cope. "I wouldn't say it ever gets easy, but I am so used to it now, I don't get too upset."

Oram has suffered a few injuries lately, starting with a back problem during the Test series in Bangladesh in October, which also ruled him out of the two-Test series in Australia in November. He then fractured a finger while turning out for Central Districts in the State Championship in the last week of November. A calf strain kept him out of the two-Test series at home against West Indies, and was followed by the Achilles tendon problem during the subsequent ODI series.

"Those are the cards you've been dealt," Oram said.

The series against India will extend from February 22 to April 7, and comprises two Twenty20 internationals, five ODIs and three Tests.