Is New Zealand missing Oram?

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Published: Monday, December 6, 2010, 15:24 [IST]
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Is New Zealand missing Oram?

New Zealand's performance curve has hit a trough. Coming off a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the Bangladeshis in the October series and now having just been handed a series defeat by the Indians, the Kiwis tour of the subcontinent couldn't have been worse. In light of their dire situation, the side might just be missing the grittiness and experience of allrounder in Jacob Oram. The fast-bowling middle-order batsman was ruled out of recent and ongoing tours due to being ridden with injuries.

Oram's career has been ravaged with injuries to his knee, back, calf and Achilles' tendon. During the tri-series in Sri Lanka earlier this year, he was hit with a recurrence of the tendon injury and immediately underwent surgery for it.

Being the perennial wounded soldier, he had quite literally been the Black Cap's Achilles' heel. That's because he has proved to be a potent weapon when in fit condition. He had notched up an impressive bowling average of 30.52 with 142 scalps in ODIs and is a competent batsman, securing an average of 24.75 and having scored 1 century and 12 fifties.

In the opening match of Sri Lanka's tri-series when New Zealand took on India, he contributed to the latter's collapse to 88 all out, by bowling a tight 6 overs in which he conceded just 15 runs and took two crucial wickets. He would provide just the right fire-power to a flagging side as New Zealand . Therefore, it is obvious that they are sorely missing his prowess and power.

Meanwhile for Oram, his future with the Black Caps looks bleak. He doesn't have time enough to recover from his surgery to play New Zealand's Twenty20 matches against Pakistan later this month, but is hoping to get back in the thick of domestic action around Christmastime and hopefully have a shot at being included in New Zealand's World Cup squad. If, he doesn't make the cut, then he will seriously consider retiring.


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