Kyle Jamieson's past and present coaches have shed more light on how the Black Caps’ latest star bowler has risen to such heights.
The 26-year-old put his name among some of our greats with his Test match figures of 11-117 against Pakistan in Christchurch, but many around him believe there’s much more to come, such as former under-19s coach Dayle Hadlee.
“I don’t think anyone would’ve imagined anyone could’ve done as well as he’s done,” Hadlee said.
“It’s been a sensational start.”
Jamieson’s rise through the ranks was cemented at Hagley Oval this week with his latest 11 wickets making it 36 in all from just six Tests.
Making it even more impressive is the fact Jamieson was a batsman in school until Hadlee helped transition him to bowling seven years ago.
“I just felt he had a lot more to give,” Hadlee said.
“And the thing that he had that other people don’t have — he’s six-foot-eight. You don’t waste that.”
But it's not as simple as mere talent. The other word that keeps cropping up from people such as Black Caps coach Gary Stead and captain Kane Williamson is attitude.
“He’s searching to get better every day,” Stead said.
“The way he’s come in and just tried to add to the group, whether that’s on the field or off the field, has been the most impressive thing,” Williamson added.
Auckland Aces coach Heinrich Malan agreed with those sentiments too.
“The way that best sums it up is we had a warm-up game at the beginning of the year and he was coming as hard to Martin Guptill, who's our most experienced player, to any other young guy we had filling in.”
Malan has been another key influence on Jamieson, helping him connect his giant frame through gym work while broadening skills with ball in hand.
It may seem like a bit much for one person, but both Malan and Hadlee agree Jamieson’s drive is no ordinary matter.
“He just wants to get better,” Malan said.
“He’s got an inner desire,” Hadlee added.
“You can see the emotion that every wicket brings. He jumps out of his skin every time he gets a wicket, so he’s driven by an inner self, he’s driven by wanting to do well for the team.”
Jamieson's coaches are also conscious of managing expectation, though, following his rapid rise to global stardom.
“He’s putting us under the pump as coaches, isn’t he, because the rise has been so big — and, I mean, we’ve had this conversation that the increments are going to be smaller now,” Malan said.
“The world could be his oyster now with what’s ahead and what’s coming up, but at the end of the day, he’s still just a cricketer and he’s still just one of our boys,” Stead added.
“When he gets together with us, we treat him that way.”
As for a verdict from the man himself?
“I still feel like I’m a long way off the cricketer I want to be.”