File photo of New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell. (Getty Images)
Bowling on subcontinent pitches is one of the toughest things for any fast bowler and teams that visit India find it hard to cope up with the slow and low nature of the decks. Doug Bracewell, the 22-year-old New Zealand paceman who is touring with the A side, knows a thing or two about the conditions here as he already played a couple of Tests and a few IPL matches for Delhi Daredevils. Based on his playing experience in India, Bracewell tells Cricketnext what it takes to be successful here.
"As a seam bowler, the conditions are not in your favour. Consistency is probably the main thing one should look for. You need to be consistent all day long and keep searching for wickets. This is the main thing I look to do here," said Bracewell from Visakhapatnam.
As cricket runs in his family - his father Brendon and uncle John both represented New Zealand in Test matches - Bracewell says he was inclined towards the game from a very young age, thanks to a cricketing environment that would always be a part of family conversations in his growing up days. "Since both my father and uncle played cricket, I didn't really have a choice. As I youngster I got influenced into it and I loved it. I started playing pretty young and then I didn't stop," said Bracewell, who played rugby till high school before suffering an ankle injury which shifted his attention completely towards cricket.
Although Bracewell took 5 for 85 on Test debut against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, the spell that got him noticed was the one against Australia at Hobart in December 2011. He got three wickets in the first innings and 6 for 40 in the second as New Zealand went on to win a Test on Australian soil after a gap of 26 years. Recalling that match, Bracewell felt it was something he relished but that it was time to move on and concentrate on the job in hand and how he could use it for his future endeavours. "That innings was really special but it's been a long time ago. That was very good from the team's point of view. But my main focus now is this A tour and how much maximum I can get out of it," he said.
After the Hobart Test, Bracewell got ten wickets in the next two Tests at home against Zimbabwe and South Africa to take his overall tally to 26 in five Tests. But the young paceman, who was still finding his feet in international cricket, got the taste of top-level cricket as wickets were difficult to come by as he managed 21 wickets in his next 11 Tests. Bracewelll accepts that his performance didn't go according to his expectations but is trying to improve with each outing. "I try to improve all the time. As a cricketer that's what you want to do. I am putting efforts in training, and working on a few things and trying to improve my game," he said.
Knowing the importance of the current A tour, Bracewell is putting up an extra effort as that would help in his preparations for New Zealand's tour to Bangladesh which is scheduled in October. "This tour is big for me. You get a lot of confidence by playing these games. The Bangladesh tour is up next, so I want to put up numbers on the board as good performance here will help me preparing for the upcoming tour."