With all three of the four-day unofficial 'tests' between New Zealand A and India A ending in a draw, the two teams are keen for some results when the three-match 50-over series starts at Bay Oval today.

"We were disappointed not to get as much red-ball cricket as we would have liked," said India A coach Rahul Dravid, referring to the two weather-affected matches in Hamilton and Whangarei.

"But it is what it is," Dravid.

"We're really looking forward to these matches, and they're day/night games too so it should be a really good experience and a good opportunity to see what it's like in New Zealand under lights."


Dravid's squad for this series includes three players who were part of India's T20 squad for the matches against Australia which finished just under two weeks ago.

One of them arrives at Bay Oval on a high. Krunel Pandya was player of the match in the third game of the series, taking 4 for 36 in his 4 overs with his slow left-armers. Australia were restricted to 164/6 and India chased down the runs with two balls to spare.

The other two from the main India squad in that T20 series, Manesh Pandy and Shreyas Iyer, didn't play in any of the matches and are desperate to get match play here.

Iyer hasn't been in a game since October 27, while Pandy's last action was in a T20 match against the West Indies at home on November 11.

"With the World Cup on the horizon, every game matters to players on the cusp. So these are three important games."

For Tauranga-born Doug Bracewell, the final four-day match last weekend in Whangarei was his best allround performance of the season. He took five for 78 and 1 for 17 as well as making a belligerent half-century which included 9 fours.

"It's been an okay start to the season for me, but I'm up for a big series against these guys in the one-dayers and I want to put some good performances on the board."

Bracewell last played for the Black Caps in January of this year in a T20 International at the Bay Oval against the West Indies. Remarkably, he didn't get to bat or bowl in that match as New Zealand won easily.


There's a long line of aspirants in this New Zealand A side looking to make it back to the Black Caps, but Bracewell knows only one thing will do it.

"It's about challenging myself and trying to get better every day, putting those performances on the board and hoping that the opportunity comes around sooner rather than later. It's about performances and consistency. If you do that for long enough, hopefully you get a crack at the top."

Although Bracewell could almost be classed as a genuine allrounder, his strength is his pace bowling and the New Zealand A squad are well stocked in that department for this series.

As well as Bracewell, there's Hamish Bennett, Lockie Ferguson and Seth Rance plus allrounders Jimmy Neesham and the captain Corey Anderson, who is keen to impress with the ball as well.

"We're a good quality side, it's well balanced but it's a good team we're up against as well."

Bracewell, who left Tauranga with his family when he was 13 having played primary school cricket here with Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, insists the bad days of his well-publicised offfield incidents, usually involving alcohol, are behind him.

"I've had a few hiccups along the way that I've had to deal with. The main focus now is just cricket and trying to do my best for whatever team I'm asked to play for, and I'm just enjoying doing that."

What: New Zealand A v India A (50 over matches)
Where: Bay Oval, Mt Maunganui
When: 2pm today, Sunday and Tuesday
All matches are streamed live on nzc.nz