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Full name Nathan Wade Bracken
Born September 12, 1977, Penrith, New South Wales
Current age 37 years 41 days
Major teams Australia, Gloucestershire, New South Wales, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Worcestershire
Nickname Bracks, Andy G (Australian Idol host)
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium
Height 1.95 m
Education Faulconbridge Primary; Springwood High School
|Test debut||Australia v India at Brisbane, Dec 4-8, 2003 scorecard|
|Last Test||Australia v South Africa at Perth, Dec 16-20, 2005 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Australia v West Indies at Melbourne, Jan 11, 2001 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v Australia at Nottingham, Sep 17, 2009 scorecard|
|T20I debut||Australia v South Africa at Brisbane, Jan 9, 2006 scorecard|
|Last T20I||Australia v Sri Lanka at Nottingham, Jun 8, 2009 scorecard|
|Last First-class||New South Wales v Western Australia at Sydney, Mar 5-8, 2009 scorecard|
|List A debut||1998/99|
|Last List A||South Australia v New South Wales at Adelaide, Feb 24, 2010 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Australia A v Pakistanis at Adelaide, Jan 13, 2005 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Australia v Sri Lanka at Nottingham, Jun 8, 2009 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|3/48||NSW||v South Aust||Adelaide||24 Feb 2010||LA|
|5, 2/34||NSW||v Victoria||Melbourne||10 Feb 2010||LA|
|2/47||NSW||v Queensland||Sydney||3 Feb 2010||LA|
|10, 1/52||NSW||v South Aust||Wollongong||26 Jan 2010||LA|
|2/42||Australia||v England||Nottingham||17 Sep 2009||ODI # 2891|
|1/43||Australia||v England||Nottingham||15 Sep 2009||ODI # 2890|
|1/40||Australia||v England||Lord's||12 Sep 2009||ODI # 2888|
|1/36||Australia||v England||Southampton||9 Sep 2009||ODI # 2885|
|2/37||Australia||v England||Lord's||6 Sep 2009||ODI # 2883|
|0/48||Australia||v England||The Oval||4 Sep 2009||ODI # 2882|
The search for a Test-class left-armer, a universal pursuit, led Australia to Nathan Bracken five times between 2003 and 2005, but it was as a one-day player that he was at his best. After an accomplished career as a tight and testing white-ball operator, he suffered a series of serious knee injuries and, despite coming back for New South Wales, was cut from Australia's contract list in April. He vowed to continue fighting.
Tall and slim, Bracken moves the ball both ways in the air and off the seam and fitted easily into Australia's rampant one-day squad in 2000-01. He was also instrumental in resuscitating New South Wales' fortunes, including a first-innings 6 for 27 in their 2004-05 final win over Queensland and 7 for 4 earlier that season when South Australia fell for 29. A shoulder injury cut short his maiden Ashes tour in 2001 after two matches, but following a spell on the sidelines he returned to the national set-up during the 2003 World Cup, when Jason Gillespie dropped out with a heel injury.
His Test debut finally came in 2003-04, but in three outings against the powerful Indian batting line-up he failed to make real inroads. In 2004 he was omitted from Cricket Australia's list of contracted players, but returned to the ODI scene for the 2005 Super Series and became a regular in green and gold. Work in the nets refining his swing was rewarded with two Tests in 2005-06 and he also added another string by delivering across the seam when he wanted to defend.
The versatility and control led to 46 ODI wickets for 2006, the second most in the world, and at times during the 2006 Champions Trophy he opened the attack, dropping Glenn McGrath to first change. In 17 matches between the South Africa tour and the end of the CB Series he picked up at least a wicket in each game and he missed only one match at the World Cup, capturing 16 victims in his second campaign.
His steady rise peaked after the 2008 West Indies tour when he became the No. 1-ranked one-day bowler, his 34 wickets in the previous home contest boosting his ratings. The West Indies series was also an important step following what could have been a career-ending knee injury. He required surgery and when the doctor scraped away the cartilage it was like "old paint peeling off a wall".
In 2008-09 Australia raided the fast-bowling cupboards without calling on Bracken to assist in the five-day team's revival, a course of events reported in detail most Sundays by a Sydney tabloid. The rest of the country wasn't in shock, knowing Bracken's strengths lie in containing rampant limited-overs batsmen with his clever variations of pace and length. Bracken's mother-in-law occasionally predicts his performances, but guessing how long he will continue to play is difficult, especially if the next generation of quicks continue their rapid development.
Cricinfo staff August 2010
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