Gary Stead still remembers the first time he laid eyes on Kyle Jamieson.
It was January 21, 2014, and Stead, in his role as Canterbury coach, had popped along to Burnside Park to catch the national under-19 tournament, where Jamieson's Canterbury side were taking on Auckland.
When he spotted the 6'8" figure of Jamieson charging in – featuring a blank canvas of a frame that a bowling coach could only dream of - Stead turned to former international-turned-coach Dayle Hadlee with hushed excitement.
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"This boy's got a little bit about him here."
It was an observation that would prove prescient. Later that year, Stead would hand Jamieson his one-day and first-class Canterbury debuts, yet he failed to produce any runs or wickets in either. Six years later though, Stead handed over the Black Cap to Jamieson – and the results were better.
Kyle Jamieson never dreamed of dismissing Virat Kohli on his test debut. To do so, he would have needed to believe he had a future as an international bowler.
Jamieson was not a cricketing prodigy, earmarked for greatness from a young age. Growing up in Auckland, he was in no hurry to specialise, playing football and basketball, before his commitment to cricket concentrated when he took a scholarship to Lincoln University.
However, perhaps belying his lanky frame, until Jamieson went down south, he was an accomplished batsman. He opened the batting at school for Auckland Grammar, and followed the same mould as father Michael, who was a batsman in premier cricket for Papatoetoe and later represented New Zealand at the over-50 World Cup.
Instead of celebrating match-winning wickets or hat-tricks, Jamieson's cricketing dreams of youth consisted of him removing his helmet and raising his bat - until a man who would become a key mentor intervened.
"I was pretty much a batter all through high school, then made the New Zealand under-19s and Dayle Hadlee got a hold of me and basically told me to run in, which shifted towards me becoming more of a bowler," Jamieson explained.
"I then worked with Steady for a couple of years just trying to learn that craft of bowling, which I probably didn't have growing up.
"I had just always liked batting, that's what I grew up admiring the most, while I still bowled I probably didn't think about that as my career option – but it's certainly paying off now."
Having first experienced the Black Caps environment when he was called in during the Australian test series, Jamieson looked at ease when he made his ODI debut against India in Auckland earlier this month, and he was similarly surprised with how smooth his introduction was in Wellington, where he seemed immediately at home with 4-39 in his first innings of test cricket.
"I've surprised myself a little bit the last few weeks with how relaxed I've been, but that's the beauty of coming into this team - there are so many experienced heads. I can go out there and enjoy myself and stick to what my role is – it makes it a lot easier."
Jamieson's debut was so impressive that he's likely to keep his spot for the second test in Christchurch starting on Saturday, despite the return of Neil Wagner to the side. Having moved back to Auckland last year, Jamieson now has mentors in both cities as he prepares for a return to the place where his cricketing journey took off, with the 25-year-old still in contact with long-time coach Hadlee, while his new relationship with Auckland coach Heinrich Malan has left Jamieson excited about his future growth.
"Heinrich the last six-eight months has been massive – his knowledge around bowling has certainly opened my eyes, to the point where I actually think there's a lot more to come."
That growth could come in several areas. Jamieson still harbours a desire to become an all-rounder, and has shown with his debut knocks in ODIs (25 not out) and tests (44) that he has the potential to eventually live out his childhood batting dreams.
Not prone to hyperbole, Stead calls Jamieson's rise "an amazing story", and given that, he won't rule anything out when projecting the future of his latest international project.
"To see someone who has come through in that period of time is really special to see and a testament to the work that Kyle's put in and how he's developed, but also the coaches around him," Stead says.
"Kyle does have the capability of batting higher and that's just going to be an ongoing thing to develop the skills where ultimately if that does happen, that there's a real trust in his game to be able to do the role that we want.
"It's great to see where he's got to and I think he'll only keep getting better."
And, in case you thought his international debuts were impressive enough, Jamieson has a warning – he's not even close to realising his full potential.
"All the stuff I've started to work on with Auckland with Heinrich - in the next year or so I'm going to make massive strides.
"I'm still a long way off where I want to be."