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Kyle Jamieson hopes to fine-tune 'T20 skillsets' in IPL ahead of T20 World Cup

'It's nice to have a block of T20 cricket going into the World Cup', the New Zealand fast bowler says

Deivarayan Muthu
Kyle Jamieson gets ready for a bowl in the nets, Chennai, April 17, 2021

Kyle Jamieson picked up nine wickets in seven matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first half of IPL 2021  •  Royal Challengers Bangalore

After dominating New Zealand's home summer in 2020-21 and then emerging as the Player of the Match in the inaugural World Test Championship final, Kyle Jamieson is set for the second leg of IPL 2021 in the UAE, where everything began for him.
It was in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup in the UAE that Jamieson first made an impact as a batter-turned-bowler, picking up seven wickets in four matches at an average of 23.85 and economy rate of 4.51. Seven years later, he will first link up with Royal Challengers Bangalore and then the T20 World Cup, which will also be held in the UAE - and Oman.
After being snapped up by RCB for INR 15 crore (USD 2 million approx) earlier this year, Jamieson also had a county stint with Surrey, although it was cut short by injury. He managed just one wicket in 13.5 overs in the Vitality Blast, in addition to 47 runs with the bat, but welcomed more T20 game-time in the lead-up to the World Cup.
"It certainly gives us, [and] me a little bit of a head-start in terms of getting used to those conditions and those grounds," Jamieson said. "It's nice to have a block of T20 cricket going into the World Cup and, like I said, just a good chance to practice some T20 skillsets in the venues we're going to be playing on."
Ahead of the first leg of the IPL in India, Jamieson was taken to the cleaners by Australia at home. He got only one wicket in four T20Is, leaking nearly 12 runs an over. Jamieson's mentor Dayle Hadlee, the former New Zealand seamer and Richard's elder brother, revealed that Jamieson had reached out to him during the last home summer.
"There was a game at Rangiora, which is just out of Christchurch, and it was between Test matches. I had a phone call from Kyle, saying he was going to come out for that match because I was out there with the Canterbury team," Dayle had earlier told ESPNcricinfo. "We got together and chewed the fat for an hour, and it was just lovely to catch up. Things didn't go quite well for him after he won the IPL contract.
"Some of that may have been down to being a little bit overawed with what happened financially, and the expectations of people and the Aussies were targeting him a bit. I thought it was fine - he's still young and it was all part of learning and he's going to be a better bowler for that experience. I've shared all my coaching resources with him, and I've put everything in a pen drive for him because I think he'll make a bowling coach one day."
"It certainly gives us, [and] me a little bit of a head-start in terms of getting used to those conditions and those grounds"
Kyle Jamieson on IPL in UAE
On his first tour to India, though, Jamieson adapted to the sluggish Chennai conditions, bowling offcutters and legcutters into the pitch to handcuff the opposition. He is RCB's second-highest wicket-taker this season, with nine strikes in seven games at an economy rate of 9.20.
"I think it was good to have the first block of T20 cricket and, I guess, you are constantly reviewing that and try and see what the plans are at certain stages of the game, certain conditions, different grounds, different batters," Jamieson said when asked about his learnings from the first half of the tournament in India. "I guess there's no specifics around that sort of stuff. But just being involved around T20 cricket for a period of time, sort of, allows you to get into that sort of a mode."
Jamieson was also excited to reunite with Shane Bond who will be part of New Zealand's coaching set-up for the T20 World Cup and T20 matches in India which follow the tournament. Jamieson had previously worked with Bond during his stint with the A team and during winter camps. Bond brings with him vast T20 experience, having had coaching spells at Sydney Thunder in the BBL and Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
"It's so cool to have him [Bond] with Steady (Gary Stead) and Jurgo (Shane Jurgensen) and Ronchs (Luke Ronchi) as well," Jamieson said. "Look, he was a fantastic player and he's been a fantastic coach and he has coached all around the world as well. So, to have his experience and tap into that is going to be awesome.
"He was the head of an A tour that I went on a few years back and he has been involved in winter squads. I guess, there's always some technical stuff, but a lot around T20 cricket - how to approach, adjust from formats, what does white-ball cricket look like for me and how do I kind of adjust to that, and that sort of stuff... He keeps things very simple; he's pretty black and white."
Jamieson's RCB are currently third on the points table, with five victories in seven matches. They will restart their campaign against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on September 20.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo