New Black Cap Jacob Duffy reflects on stellar debut, how he plans to earn back his spot

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 19 Dec 2020, 1:08PM
Jacob Duffy receives his cap. Photo / Photosport
Jacob Duffy receives his cap. Photo / Photosport

New Black Cap Jacob Duffy reflects on stellar debut, how he plans to earn back his spot

Author
Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 19 Dec 2020, 1:08PM

Man of the moment Jacob Duffy was blown away by the support of his home town after his spectacular Black Caps debut.

Fresh-faced bowler Duffy ripped off the top of the Pakistan batting order during their first of three T20 matches - the Black Caps remaining unbeaten this summer with a five-wicket win - before nearly pulling off an incredible leaping one-handed catch, only to be foiled by brushing the boundary rope.

The 26-year-old has been all the talk since, revealing how much it meant to his Southland home town of Invercargill.

"People down there are so passionate and so proud to be Southlanders and I am too," he said. "I've honestly got hundreds of messages this week from people I haven't talked to since high school but it's so cool, people get around you and I know they really loved it."

Duffy broke into the Otago team as a highly-touted teen and has spent the past eight years on the domestic scene. His first crack at international cricket, in the toughest format of the game for bowlers, returned figures of 4-0-33-4, his return only blowing out when he was hammered for three sixes in his final four balls.

He said although nerves plagued him at times, stepping up to the plate wasn't as difficult as he anticipated.

The challenge now was securing a more permanent spot in the side, having dropped out of the side for the final two Twenty20s as a result of the return of test seamers Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson.

"I know there are some absolute class players coming in and it's going to be bloody hard to get back in again because the depth in the bowling is unbelievable at the moment," he said.

"It's up to me to go home and do well in domestic cricket again and the Super Smash and earn myself another chance."

Duffy's night could have been even greater had his epic catch been legitimate.

The visitors were 44-5 in the 10th over when Shadab Khan sent an cut shot sailing toward deep third man. The shot looked a six for all money, but Duffy tracked it back toward the rope and stretched high to pluck it from the sky.

He only had about a metre of space to stop his momentum and acrobatically contorted his body in a valiant attempt to avoid touching the boundary rope.

But replays showed the fingertips of his left hand had just grazed the triangular advertising wedge, meaning it was a four for Shadab.

"It was just one of those ones where you put your hand up and it somehow sticks," Duffy said.

"I felt a little something-something there and you can't be that guy that goes and celebrates a non-catch and gets pulled back on TV."