Bracken dismisses 'mongrel' tag
Nathan Bracken, the Australian fast bowler, has shrugged off accusations that he lacks a killer instinct on the field. "Yes, I've heard people say I lack mongrel," he told The Sydney Morning Herald. "No, I'm not someone who gets into batsmen's faces - but I'll do anything to get them out."
Bracken, 29, preferred to rely on his abilities rather than intimidate batsmen with looks and words. "The way I see it, when I'm batting and a bowler has a go at me, I think, 'You're not concentrating on your job'," he said. "I think the best way to get your point across is to get the bloke out. If you don't know the batsman, you don't know what the effect [of sledging] will be. You can maybe upset a batsman who looks vulnerable, but you can also wake a sleeping giant."
The method is working as Bracken's one-day statistics in 2006 are impressive. With 36 victims from 18 matches, he is the second-highest wicket-taker behind his team-mate Brett Lee and will be an important factor during Australia's Champions Trophy campaign, which begins on Wednesday. "This time I've just wanted to play and enjoy it," Bracken said. "I had always been so desperate to cement a spot and basically tried too hard. Confidence comes into it - that gets better the more you play - but in the past I felt I had to prove something to people.
"When I first got picked I wanted to play every Test and ODI. Now I know I can't control what the selectors do. I've just got to keep doing what I do well."