Showing How it's done

Last updated 22:44 11/03/2008
ROSS GIBLIN/The Dominion Post
HOW IT'S DONE: A minor change, more self-belief and a determination to play straighter has seen Jamie How hit career-best scores. How's second crack at international cricket is proving more successful than his first.

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It's fair to say Jamie How won't be working for mail order clothing company Ezibuy again in the short term.

How's second crack at international cricket is proving more successful than his first and were they to call for nominations today for the country's most improved batsman he would be top of everyone's list.

In the past three weeks against England, How has displayed composure and confidence on the way to career-best scores in both the one-day and test arenas.

What's more, his 92 and 39 in the first test in Hamilton doubled his run aggregate from his previous six tests.

How, 26, is not the type to get carried away by his second coming and claims "apart from some minor tweaking" there is nothing extraordinary behind it.

The tweaking involves a minor change in grip, a greater self-belief and a determination to play straighter.

"I just know my game better now than when I started," How said.

"I've made some small improvements, nothing drastic, I'm just doing the basics better and with a few results I now feel part of the team pretty much."

How is still getting over the first test victory, not celebration-wise but the memories of it.

"That last test was amazing," he said. "There were periods in the game when I was pinching myself, it was so amazing out there.

"There was a period on the third day when Jeets [Jeetan Patel] and Dan [Vettori] were bowling, and there were guys around the bat, it was just great to be part of.

"The final day was amazing - four days of hard work and to see it come off was great."

For all that, How is a down-to-earth type.

He claims he could pass on the Indian Premier League because his career could do without the complication.

But that is not to say he wants to return to the days of working outside of cricket to earn a crust.

Two years ago his marketing degree gained him a job with Ezibuy but he talks about the comfort of having a qualification to fall back on should his forward defence ever fail him on a regular basis.

In the meantime, he hopes to turn his good season into a great one, when the second test against England starts at the Basin Reserve tomorrow.

The English bowling attack has taken a caning since their laboured effort in the first test but How is not dismissive of them.

"Ryan Sidebottom got the results and he is a good bowler," How said.

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"I think they will come back strong at the Basin, they must be hurting.

"Wellington poses different questions with the wind and it is always a good deck but it does a little bit as well if the bowlers bend their backs."

In seven tests How has scored 262 runs at 23.81, while in the limited overs form he has scored 718 runs in 20 games at 42.23.


- The Dominion Post

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