'No fear of Australia at all' - Bracewell
New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell has said his team has the "mongrel" to topple Australia on their own turf, ahead of the two-Test series that gets underway at the Gabba from December 1. Bracewell, now in his second tour with the national team, said New Zealand are capable of playing a tougher brand of cricket.
"There's definitely no fear of Australia at all," Bracewell told the Sunday Star Times. "We've spoken about being more ruthless and having more mongrel as a team. Whether that's guys sledging or however they go about their business, we just want to be a tougher, more consistent team."
New Zealand haven't beaten their trans-Tasman rivals in a Test since 1993, and have not won in Australia for 26 years. However, the current Australian line-up they're up against at the Gabba is already depleted with the loss of Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh. The bowling attack features three rookie fast bowlers, with Peter Siddle leading the attack.
Despite Australia's early setback with injuries to key players, Bracewell called his side the "underdogs" who have nothing to fear.
"Before we came over we said we want to be more aggressive and ruthless, especially playing the Aussies," Bracewell said. "They like to think they're the best team in the world and what not. We are the underdogs so it gives us that mongrel to go out and show that we're better than them - that we can beat them. We'll be looking to take it to them and show no fear."
New Zealand are coming off a short series in Zimbabwe, where they sneaked a Test win despite a spirited fightback by the home side. Bracewell said certain senior players and the coach John Wright are responsible for shaping the team's self-belief.
"It's mainly come from the coach and the likes of Rossco [captain Ross Taylor], [Daniel] Vettori and [Brendon] McCullum," Bracewell said.
He said a win in Australia is long overdue. "We owe it to the New Zealand public to try to get a win over here," Bracewell said. "I know our followers will respect us a lot more if we beat Australia over here. We're thinking about that. It's something to get inspired about."
Bracewell, who took a five-wicket haul in his debut Test in Zimbabwe, was in good form in the drawn tour match against Australia A, scoring an unbeaten 73 and taking four wickets.