Bracewell hopes for pace-friendly wicket
Bengaluru, Aug 29: After the innings and 115-run humiliation in Hyderabad, New Zealand will be desperate to prove their competence in the second Test in Bengaluru. The main reason behind the visitors’ meek surrender in the first Test was the advantage that India had over them thanks to their spin bowlers. While R Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha picked 18 wickets between them, New Zealand’s pace-heavy attack didn’t have much to exploit.
Doug Bracewell, a part of this young pace attack, picked a solitary wicket in India’s only innings in Hyderabad. He hopes to encounter friendlier conditions at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium when the second Test begins on August 31.
“Looking at the wicket, there is a little bit of grass on it at the moment but I’m sure they’ll take it off and keep it dry. But at the moment, it looks quite nice and I also think if the weather stays overcast, like it is right now, it could work to our favour a bit,” Bracewell said ahead of the Test. He added that the word going around is that the Bengaluru wicket might be similar to the one in Hyderabad.
Even as the Indian spin duo made it look so, the Hyderabad wicket was, by no means, an unplayable square turner and the Kiwi batsmen’s mental and technical shortcomings against the slow bowlers contributed equally to their downfall. Bracewell attributed that to the lack of quality spin bowlers in his country.
“Obviously, we don’t face as much spin back home as we do when we come to the subcontinent,” he said. “There are not many spinners around. But there are a few young guys coming through; which is good.”
However, things could get better for the New Zealand batsmen at Bengaluru. Their ace spinner and former captain, Daniel Vettori, has joined the squad after recovering from a groin injury. Although Vettori is here to take part only in the two Twenty20s, his presence in the nets will be a godsend opportunity for the batsmen to prepare for the Indian spinners. And as Bracewell said, it will be also come as a morale booster for the team.
“Dan’s been around for a while and to talk to him and get his thoughts is a good thing for us. All the guys are happy to have Dan back in the set-up. Yes, his presence will be good for the team,” he said.
The hallmark of the New Zealand cricket team has been their ability to punch above their weight. And this is the perfect time for the Kiwis to bring that quality to the fore. “We’ve got to forget that game and take out positives from it. We have a lot to do to try and win this game and get 1-1,” Bracewell admitted.