Qld v NSW, Pura Cup final, Brisbane, 1st day March 18, 2005

Bracken eyes Ashes tour

Cricinfo staff



Nathan Bracken has bowled himself in Ashes contention © Getty Images

Nathan Bracken's demolition of the Queensland batting order in the Pura Cup final at Brisbane has boosted his chances of being named in Australia's squad for the Ashes tour. Bracken took 6 for 27 to rout the Pura Cup holders for just 102 on the opening day.

Bracken's last Test was against India at Sydney in January 2004, and later in the year he lost his Cricket Australia central contract. But he has responded in fine style, spearheading the New South Wales attack this season. However, he is not getting carried away with his chances of touring England.

"If I get an opportunity I'll be wrapped with it, if I don't, I don't," Bracken told the AAP news agency. "I'm happy with the way I've bowled this year but my priority is to finish this game here well. I set a goal at the start of the year to take 40 wickets. I've now taken 41. So now I'm setting my goal at 45 and taking 45 will ensure a good game here and make it a close finish."

Bracken had a brief spell with Gloucestershire towards the end of the 2004 English season and says he enjoys the conditions. "I enjoyed my time over there before. I've been over there with Gloucester and also on the other Ashes trip and enjoyed the opportunity to go there. The ball does swing a lot over there and you do get wickets that do a bit so I guess any fast bowler is happy with the situation where the ball swings around and seams."