Jacob Oram: 14 interesting facts about the Kiwi all-rounder

Born July 28, 1978, Jacob Oram is a former New Zealand cricketer, a lanky right-arm medium pace bowler and an aggressive left-handed batsman. Oram was a regular in the Kiwi s Test and One-Day International (ODI) side. He was undoubtedly one of the tallest cricketers to have played the game, standing 1.98m tall, Oram made good use of his height in order to extract some bounce off the surface. He was one of the most effective all-rounders cricket has ever seen and often achieved the topmost rank in ICC All-sounder s ranking. His career was highly interrupted due to injuries and on his birthday, Suraj Choudhari walks down the memory lane and garners 14 intriguing facts about New Zealand giant.

1. Football: Before focusing entirely on cricket, Oram had a keen interest in football. He played as a goalkeeper at school level.

2. Represented New Zealand Under-19: Oram featured in New Zealand Under-19 side and did a commendable job for the team.

3. Foot injury: Oram missed an important phase of his cricketing career in 2001 due to a mistimed foot injury.

4. Debuted against India: Oram made his Test debut against India at Wellington on December 12, 2002 and has played 33 Tests for New Zealand since then.

5. Sachin Tendulkar: Oram had an impactful Test outing with the ball but failed to impress with the bat. He scalped a total of five wickets in his maiden Test outing out of which the first one being that of Sachin Tendulkar. He also termed this as the most satisfying wicket he has ever taken.

6. Finest performance in ODI cricket: Oram made a successful comeback after the foot injury in 2001. After a making an impact in his debut Test series against India, he went on to amaze in the shorter formats too. In the first ODI against India at Auckland, he hogged all the headlines for his fifer and an unbeaten 27 in a low-scoring game. This was also his finest performance in ODI cricket with the ball.

7. One of the finest knocks: Oram was belligerent in his approach with the bat but on this occasion he showed immense mettle, when he bailed his team out of a precarious situation. During the fifth game of the TVS Cup against Australia in November 2003, Oram walked out to bat when his team was delicately placed at 68 for the loss of five wickets. Oram played a fine knock of 81 and helped his side post a fighting total of 258 in 50 overs. Though Australia won the game by a whisker but Oram s knock will be long remembered.

8. Missed the Australian tour: Oram s career was hampered due to injuries, he would have probably scripted more records had he not been prone to injuries. After being in good touch, Oram missed out the Australian tour in 2005 due a back injury.

9. Amputated his finger? Prior to the 2007 World Cup, Oram hurt his ring finer while fielding in a bilateral series against Australia. This incident put his participation in the upcoming World Cup in jeopardy. He jokingly said that he would cut his finger in order to play for New Zealand in the coveted tournament which created rounds in the fraternity.

10. Hat-trick: Oram was tailor-made for a format like T20. In the first T20I against Sri Lanka in September 2009, Oram scripted history picking a hat-trick. He got rid of Angelo Mathews, Nuwan Kulasekara and Malinga Bandara to engrave his name in the history of T20 cricket. This splendid performance by Oram also helped New Zealand to successfully defend a low score of 141.

11. IPL: Oram featured for many Indian Premier League (IPL) teams in his career. He featured for Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians in the cash rich extravaganza.

12. Fastest ton: Oram smashed 71-balls ton against Australia in the eighth game of Commonwealth Bank Series in January 2007, this was also the then fastest ton by a New Zealander in ODI cricket.

13. Lord s Board of Honour: During the first Test of New Zealand in England Test series in 2008, Oram plundered a scintillating ton in the third innings of the game only to see his name being inscribed on the Lord s Board of Honour.

14. Mentor: Oram is mentoring the upcoming New Zealand pace gun Adam Milne.

(Suraj Choudhari, an avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with CricLife)