Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane

Bracewell can become great - Taylor

Daniel Brettig in Brisbane

November 30, 2011

Comments: 14 | Text size: A | A

Doug Bracewell struck twice for New Zealand on the fourth evening, Zimbabwe v New Zealand, only Test, Bulawayo, 4th day, November 4, 2011
Doug Bracewell took six wickets on Test debut in Bulawayo © AFP
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New Zealand captain Ross Taylor expects great things of Doug Bracewell, declaring the young allrounder capable of growing into one of the best in the world. As his team rounded out its preparations for the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, Taylor said Bracewell, who made his debut in Zimbabwe earlier this month, would be capable of startling the hosts with his thoughtful bowling.

"Doug Bracewell is a player the Australian public haven't seen a lot of. He's an exciting young talent who can not only bowl fast but is also a handy allrounder, and he's only 21," Taylor said. "I'm sure in years to come he'll be one of the best allrounders in the world.

"It's nice to see him grow as a person. He thinks a lot more about his bowling than I thought he did a couple of years ago, and that's impressive for a youngster. He had success in his debut against Zimbabwe but I'm sure he's looking forward to bouncier conditions here than a low, slow Bulawayo wicket."

Unlike Australia, New Zealand have a more settled XI going into the match. In Bracewell, Tim Southee, Chris Martin and Daniel Vettori, Taylor can say his bowling attack is more accomplished than Michael Clarke's. The New Zealand quartet is mentored by former Tasmania and Victoria swing bowler, Damien Wright, who has passed on plenty of England's expertise via his friend and ECB bowling coach David Saker.

"He's [Wright] played a lot of first-class cricket here, and he's mates with David Saker the England bowling coach," Taylor said. "He's given us some nice information from the Ashes series here on how they went about it, and Damien as a character is getting the best out of the bowlers."

Running his eye down Australia's battery of young quicks, Taylor said their inexperience would help New Zealand, but there would also be plenty of speed, enthusiasm and energy to counter with patience and application.

"Experience-wise it is one of the weakest [Australian attacks], but they know the conditions better than we do," Taylor said. "We've had a look at them on a flat Allan Border wicket, but I'm sure they'll come at us hard but we'll expect that. We're confident, we've scored runs in the last two first-class games, we just need to take that confidence out onto the wicket.

"I thought [James] Pattinson bowled very well, he was one of the most consistent, he bowled a good line and length, plus I'd played with him at Victoria and watched him develop there as well. I'd never seen Starc before. Cutting bowled a lot of short balls and tried to get people with the fuller delivery. So they all bowled reasonably well on a very flat wicket."

Taylor doubted Australia would play all four fast bowlers - Vettori is a certainty for New Zealand - and expressed the locally held view that the character of the sky was just as important as that of the pitch.

"That is an option for them, to play four quicks, but I'm not sure how many overs Clarkey wants to bowl out there if he doesn't play a spinner," Taylor said. "The overhead conditions are the biggest part.

"On that wicket you'd always want to bat first, but the overhead conditions can change your mind. We'll just have to see what the weather turns up with. If there's a little cloud around you'd bat, but if there's a lot of cloud around you might change your decision."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by funkybluesman on (December 1, 2011, 2:30 GMT)

That's a big call to make by Taylor really especially when you consider we are talking about the same guy who's stats I was checking out earlier wondering how on earth he managed to get even thought about by the national selectors with a record like that...

Posted by   on (November 30, 2011, 23:32 GMT)

@ Chandramouli.. 2 Test Centuries in your First Tour of OZ when the Rest of the batsmen were struggling to score even 1. You call that as a Struggle?? 114 on a Perth Wicket. A Century which Richie Benaud said was one of the Best ever in Perth. You call that as a struggle?? In fact the Master Blaster has scored a Century in each of his visits to Aussie Land. Dravid managed to do it in his Second Tour whereas Lax announced himself during that 167 in the losing cause in 1999-00.

Posted by StevieS on (November 30, 2011, 22:12 GMT)

Alex Hose is "Hadlee, Bond, Astle or Crowe" a game of which of "One of These Things Is Not Like The Other"? Astle although good wasn't a great.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2011, 22:12 GMT)

Surprised to see the Kiwis talking so much. They struggled against Zimbabwe. It is always hard to win in oppostion conditions, so looks like the Kiwis have still not learnt their lesson from Zimbabwe. Greats like Dravid, Tendulkar, laxman struggled the first time in Australia. In Cricket Talent can help only 40%, experience in foreign conditions is vital.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2011, 21:07 GMT)

Yea NZ has had some terrible batting collapeses - I hope brendan fires it up - his test average is well below what it should be and he has a habbit for getting good 'pre match scores' then getting out after 5 overs for 12 or something. He needs (along with Guptil) to make a good, solid intro opening partnership of 100 atleast, to ensure the middle order can bat to 400+

Posted by   on (November 30, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

@Luvthygame, well put mate. Im a big kiwi fan and im sorry to say you hit the nail on the head. Its just sad to see the real match winners we produce break down i.e bond, oram etc. im just waiting for the day the planets align and we can field a more than competitive XI. its always said we can compete with the bigger teams because of our fielding and discipline (sometimes) but wouldn't it be great to have maybe another Hadlee, Bond, Astle or Crowe put there hand up in the same era, its all we need to be up there imo....yeah not asking much i know.

Posted by zico123 on (November 30, 2011, 15:38 GMT)

Australian bowling attack is inexperienced, if NZ batters concentrate and play tight, if NZ can bat first and put huge runs on the board, you nevet know this Australian team is never far from collase, NZ should easily draw the test matches, if not win it

Posted by sony_sr on (November 30, 2011, 15:33 GMT)

Too much talking from kiwi side. Lets see if they can back it with good performance. Surprising to see not much talk from aussie side. mmm times have changed... :)

Posted by   on (November 30, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

New Zealand are over hypping themselves believing they are better than they are - gr8 rugby guys - not so sure about the Kiwis - Oz will be all over 'em like a rash

Posted by LuvThyGame on (November 30, 2011, 11:25 GMT)

NZ cricket, although exciting, has been a bits-and-pieces story all through... Allrounders / lower middle-order bats from NZ have always been decent ... they have always had a decent bowling attack... they are a great fielding side... the real issue with their cricket is their batting.. they have had a horrible run of very ordinary batsman (2 decades almost).. if they are to become a top side then for me they need to find some batting stars ... I think Aussies would prevail despite a second-strung bowling attack...

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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