Australia in New Zealand 2009-10 March 2, 2010

Oram desperate to end poor run of form

Cricinfo staff

Jacob Oram, the New Zealand allrounder, has shrugged off calls for him to be excluded from the ODI series opener against Australia in Napier. Oram has only one ODI half-century in his last 11 innings, a 40-ball 83 against Bangladesh recently, and was quick to acknowledge that he was bidding to recapture some much-needed batting form.

The former New Zealand coach Warren Lees and former fast bowler Simon Doull are two personalities to have called for Oram to be benched for the first match, but the allrounder said he was not playing for his spot. "I've said many times in the last 12-18 months, I don't feel like I am playing for my place in the team, but I have been more inconsistent than I would have liked," he told Radio Sport.

"I try not to let outside stuff affect me and that's still the case. I will reiterate, though, that I've seen my performances haven't been up to scratch and I need to make sure I do something about that."

Oram, 31, retired from Test cricket in October after injury worries, namely of the back and foot, limited him to 33 appearances over a seven-year career. In two Twenty20s against Australia this past week he scored 1 and 0 and conceded 67 off six overs but has found a voice of support in his captain, Daniel Vettori, who felt he was a better option at No's 7 or 8.

"Jake's all right. Cricket's such a relative thing, a few games ago against Bangladesh everyone was saying he was back, he got 80 off 40 balls," he said. "It's all about one performance and if Jake gets it in this game or the next game then he'll be feeling fine.

"He's picked more in this team as a bowler and he's done a very good job as a one-day bowler and we're just wanting him to get back into form with the bat. We're hoping with the pressure off a little bit down the order, that'll enable him to do that."

Oram would prefer to bat higher, however. "I understand the reasons for others maybe going a touch higher, but it would be nice to get more of an opportunity," he said. "But if I go down to about six, seven or eight, whatever it is, then again there's a role for me to do there."