Cricket: Bracewell feeling right at home

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Doug Bracewell says the McLean Park wicket should offer some whip and swing for the seamers in the early stages. Photo / Getty Images
Doug Bracewell says the McLean Park wicket should offer some whip and swing for the seamers in the early stages. Photo / Getty Images

Doug Bracewell laughs when told even his father has been fielding calls for interviews.

However, the 21-year-old Black Caps allrounder accepts dealing with the media comes with the territory although he wasn't intending to draw so much attention to a media-shy father who simply wants to watch him play and run his cricket academy at Bay View.

"The weather's good so I'm looking forward to my first test in front of a home crowd, family and friends,'' the Taradale Cricket Club member said last night before tomorrow's one-off test match against Zimbabwe begins at McLean Park, Napier.

"I've spent a lot of time with my dad and there were many moments when I looked up to him and wanted to play and represent my country,'' Bracewell said of Brendon who is a former New Zealand representative bowler.

Familiar with the Napier wicket over numerous domestic matches for the Central Districts Stags this summer, Bracewell said it should offer some whip and swing for the seamers in the early stages and also yield runs.

"It'll test our bowlers so we'll have to hit in the right areas,'' he said but emphasised they weren't too worried about the toss.

His preoccupation in the past fortnight was to condition his body to the rigorous demands of rolling his arm for 20 overs at the height of the HRV Cup Twenty20 competition.

"I was getting my body used to longer spells by increasing the workload at training,'' Bracewell said, satisfied with his fitness.

Fellow seamer Trent Boult revealed coach John Wright's goal of achieving a competitive template for every position was evident between him, Bracewell, veteran Chris Martin and Tim Southee. "There's a bit of battle for it [the new ball] and it's something I want to take as well as the other three guys so it's up to Ross, and a little bit of John there, on who takes it ... so we'll just have to wait and see.

"We're all swing bowlers and it's known to swing a little here so we'll see,'' the ND player said.

With players such as Hamish Bennett and Neil Wagner waiting on the wings, Boult welcomed stiff competition.

"It's always good to have because it helps players to strive to improve.''

Southee was keen to shine the ball here again at test level.

"If it's flat and has some pace and bounce then we don't mind bowling on it.

"It's a good cricket wicket and one of the best in the country,'' the ND bowler said.

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