William O'Rourke, Neil Wagner
William O'Rourke, Neil Wagner [PC: X/Twitter]

New Zealand Test captain Tim Southee has revealed that the Kiwis are in line to hand a debut Test cap to 22-year-old speedster William O’Rourke in the series concluding 2nd Test against South Africa at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.

William O’Rourke is a talented right-arm fast-medium bowler who has gained a lot of prominence due to his excellent performance and numbers in New Zealand’s domestic circuit. Veteran Tim Southee who will be taking part in his 98th Test match of his career starting from tomorrow, claimed that the youngster contains a lot of potential and has all the makings for becoming a top performer for them in the near future.

The Kiwis line-up with 3 pacers in their 1st Test, won against South Africa by a heavy margin of 281 runs. However, in the 2nd Test, they are expected to have 4 fast bowlers due to the favorable conditions for seamers on a grassy track at Hamilton. A decision will be made tomorrow and the toss-up will be between O’Rourke and Neil Wagner.

The 1st Test was an absolutely one-sided contest which was ruled by Kane Williamson with his back-to-back centuries across innings at the Bay Oval while Rachin Ravindra amassed a sensational 240 off 366 deliveries in the 1st innings to set up 511 runs.

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South Africa’s inexperienced batting lineup could not even score 200 runs as they were folded for just 162, thanks to a collective effort from Matt Henry (3), Kyle Jamieson (2), Mitchell Santner (3), and Rachin Ravindra (2). In the 3rd innings, New Zealand declared at 179 and set up a mammoth target of 529.

The visitors on the back of David Bedingham’s 86 and 30s from the bat of Zubayr Hamza and Ruan de Swardt, bundled out for just 247 as Kyle Jamieson registered figures of 4/58. South Africa’s tension is expected to further increase in the 2nd Test and it will definitely be a good opportunity for William O’Rourke to make his Test debut against a 3rd string team.

“He’s in the 13. It’s great to have those decisions to be made. Will’s an exciting talent and has had a little taste of international cricket, and I’m sure he has a bright future in the highest level as well. His strengths are obviously his height and ability to extract bounce,” Tim Southee as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. 

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“He’s Not Too Dissimilar”, Southee Compares William O’Rourke To Kyle Jamieson 

William O’Rourke has a decent first-class record of 50 wickets in just 15 outings for the Canterbury in New Zealand’s domestic red-ball circuit. Those closer to the Surrey-born pacer are well aware of the raw pace he generates, the tight line lengths he picks up, and the enormous height that helps him to have a high point of release.

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Tim Southee was very praiseful about O’Rourke’s ability as a bowler and he also likened him to the tall Kyle Jamieson.

“Being a big, tall guy he’s not too dissimilar to Jamieson. He’s got skills with the ball as well. He’s got the tools to be a very good bowler and someone who I’m sure will thrive at this level,” Southee concluded.