The Rajasthan Royals have recruited Black Caps all-rounder Jacob Oram as a replacement for Paul Collingwood after the England batsman was ruled out of the Indian Premier League with a knee injury.
Having represented Chennai in previous editions of the Twenty20 tournament, the 32-year-old Oram enters the Rajasthan fold on the back of some solid form for New Zealand in the World Cup, during which he grabbed 12 wickets and put in several handy cameos with the bat.
His standout showing was against South Africa in the quarter-finals stage of the ODI showpiece on the sub-continent. The right-arm seamer landed figures of four for 39 and grabbed a sensational catch on the midwicket fence to dismiss Proteas star Jacques Kallis. Oram’s Man of the Match performance eventually saw South Africa crash out of the World Cup and New Zealand clinch a semi-final berth.
“Oram fits in that kind of slot like Collingwood, a middle-order batsman who bowls,” a Royals official told ESPNcricinfo.
“And he really hits the ball hard. Also his recent performance in the World Cup was fantastic, especially in the quarter-finals against South Africa. It is not the main reason we picked him, but it helps to have a player in form.”
Oram, prone to injury across the last three years and now retired from Test cricket, is currently enjoying a stretch of consistent fitness and hopes to translate it to an extended limited-overs career.
“I’m only a replacement for an injured guy, which is ironic, but I’m going to look forward to going over there and playing well, and who knows, maybe pick up a gig for next year and my career might just keep going on and on,” he told One News
Rajasthan kick off their 2011 IPL campaign against fellow former champions Deccan Chargers on 9 April. Cricket365