New Zealand hope to see best out of rested Kyle Jamieson

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead praised Kyle Jamieson on Wednesday for his decision to skip the Indian Premier League and is hopeful the towering seamer will be back to his best for the tour of England after a lean series against South Africa.

While captain Kane Williamson and a raft of Black Caps players are playing the lucrative T20 tournament, Jamieson declined to put his name on the IPL’s auction list in order to rest and work on his game at home. As the second-most expensive player in the 2021 auction, with Royal Challengers Bangalore signing him for about $2 million, the decision cannot have been an easy one for the 27-year-old talent.

“I think it’s a very brave move for someone at Kyle’s age to make but he’s obviously had some experiences there and worked out what he needs as a cricketer,” Stead told reporters on Wednesday. “He wants to play obviously all formats for New Zealand if he can but Test cricket being the pinnacle for him is really important for him. I congratulate him for looking after what he thinks he needs to do to play Test cricket, first and foremost.”

World Test champions New Zealand included Jamieson and Williamson in an extended squad released on Wednesday for the three-Test tour of England starting at Lord’s on June 2. The 6ft-8in Jamieson burst onto the international scene two years ago and quickly cemented himself in New Zealand’s strong pace attack.

He struggled to impose himself in the drawn home series against South Africa, however, finishing with six wickets at an average of 33. “I think he’ll be the first to say he just didn’t feel quite right last year and maybe through a workload issue as well,” said Stead. “I guess we’re not going to know until we’ve seen him. He’s had a bit of a break. He’s looking fit and strong at the moment. So I’m excited to see what he’ll bring.”