Doug Bracewell wants to be known as a batting all-rounder
New Zealand’s Doug Bracewell, who is preparing in Pretoria as part of the 16-man squad for the upcoming Test series against Zimbabwe and South Africa, revealed that his ambition is to become a batting all-rounder who can deliver on a consistent basis for the national side. Having made his List A debut for the Central Districts as an opening batsman, Bracewell's claims are not unfounded though he is yet to showcase his potential in the batting department for the Black Caps.
Bracewell scored 55 in that match against Auckland and has 9 half-centuries and a 100+ score in his 52-match first-class career so far. The 25-year-old though admitted that he has failed to transform his potential from domestic level to international cricket but added that he has been playing close attention to getting it right over the past couple of years.
"I've always wanted to be [a batting allrounder] ever since I started playing first-class," Bracewell said in Pretoria. "Over the last couple of years I haven't really produced the numbers that I would have liked but I've put in quite a lot of hard work over the last year or two and starting to slowly see a few improvements. Hopefully, I can keep working hard at it and get some runs."
“Overall, I was pretty happy with how the season went. Obviously, a lot of work-ons going forward, you always want to get better and improve. I've been working on the batting quite a lot and trying to improve on that and churn out some more runs. I don't reflect too much over the last summer, it's been done and now we've got some cricket to look forward to over here and a big summer coming up," he added.
Having missed the final match of the two-Test series against Australia in February, which was incidentally former skipper Brendon McCullum’s final appearance for New Zealand, due to injury, Bracewell said that he has taken the opportunity to give his body some much-needed rest but added that he can’t wait to get back out on the field.
"I have had time off in the off-season and didn't go anywhere, rested after a long season," he said. "I've had a bit of time off actually. I haven't gone overseas and played, I've just had the body have a bit of a rest after a long season. Looking forward to getting back into some cricket."
Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes votes for Matt Henry as New Zealand’s batting all-rounder
According to Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes, Matt Henry, who had replaced Bracewell for McCullum's farewell Test, also has the potential to become New Zealand’s long-time batting allrounder. No doubt impressed by Henry’s bowling, which fetched him 27 wickets in six County Championship matches for Worcestershire at an average of 26.51, Rhodes also praised the 24-year-old’s batting abilities.
"He (Henry) really clicked with his rhythm and swung the ball nicely. Maybe with him going away with the New Zealand team and readying himself for a Test series, it has put him in a good spot mentally as to how he feels about his bowling and form-wise,” Rhodes said.
"We shouldn't forget Matt's batting this year. This guy is averaging 45 in first-class cricket and played some important knocks as well in the white-ball format. He is a very good all-round cricketer but is also a tremendous bloke and he has fitted in so well in our dressing room. We really do wish him well in his time with New Zealand,” he added.