Fleming hails Oram
New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming hailed Jacob Oram as the complete package after another bludgeoning innings all-but guaranteed a finals spot in the Commonwealth Bank Series.
Oram crashed an unbeaten 54 from just 33 deliveries to tee up a waltz of a win for the Kiwis over England, having twice etched career-best scores in his previous visits to the crease in the triangular tournament.
Keen to prove his career batting average of 18 was a false statistic when he arrived in Australia last week, the giant all-rounder responded with 86 against England at Adelaide and an unbeaten century off the hosts attack in Perth.
Four towering sixes on the same WACA surface on Tuesday, during a frantic final five overs which reaped 65 runs, were the highlight of his latest brutal assault.
“His batsmanship is outstanding at the moment, it is the complete package and he is certainly developing real power through opening that front leg.
“He has been able to hit the ball a long way - he just hasn’t done it consistently before and he wanted to prove he could. Whoever said he’s a poor man’s Chris Cairns. we are pretty happy,” Fleming said, after derogatory comparisons to the former Black Cap.
The arrival of Oram and opener Lou Vincent has bolstered a batting line-up whose deficiencies were exposed in the early matches here.
Vincent, called up in the wake of Nathan Astle’s shock retirement, struck twin half-centuries in the back-to-back matches in Perth to make an emphatic return from exile.
“I have had to go away and work on a few things, my game is starting to get together and I want to be a big part of this team going into the World Cup next month,” Vincent said.
“There are times when you think it might be better to close your eyes and have a swing because the ball is doing a bit - but I am happy with my tempo.
“It is always important that one of the top order gets through the initial period and bats for the majority of the overs so the guys can come in at the end and post those big scores.”
Scott Styris was due to join up with the Kiwi squad on Wednesday to give the middle order further knowhow.