England in New Zealand 2012-13 March 18, 2013

Bracewell could bolster tiring NZ attack

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Doug Bracewell could feature in the final Test against England if he comes through his Ford Trophy one-day outing on Wednesday with Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, admitting that his bowlers were "hanging by a thread" at one point during the Wellington encounter.

By the time England were bowled out for 465 on the second day at the Basin Reserve, New Zealand had spent 317 overs in the field since the beginning of the visitors' second innings in Dunedin. Although Hesson said they had all come through unscathed, and felt it had worked in New Zealand's favour that they did not field for the final three days in Wellington, he acknowledged the demands of three Tests in three weeks on his pacemen.

"It's been great for us that we haven't had to bowl the last three days," he said. "Our guys were hanging on by a thread there for a while. It's great to see they've had a decent break. I assume they'll be fine but we need to show some due diligence.

"The three we've got have done a great job, so we've basically brought in Doug and got Ian [Butler] there as cover. We'll see how guys scrub up in Auckland because to play three Tests on the bounce is hard work for any seam attack."

Neil Wagner has nine wickets in the series, but Trent Boult and Tim Southee have just four and one respectively for their efforts. Bracewell, 22, missed the first two Tests after cutting his foot cleaning up glass after a party at his house the day before linking up with the squad in Dunedin. He had been expected to feature in the first-choice attack for the series having taken 46 in 15 Tests. There was hope he would recover in time for Wellington, but has only recently been able to put his full weight back on the foot.

"It's certainly good to have him back in the mix," Hesson said. "It was an unfortunate incident. Hopefully he can get through tomorrow, 10 overs under his belt, and we will see how he scrubs up."

Another bowler making a comeback from injury, although much further from a national recall than Bracewell, is Daniel Vettori. He remains hopeful of being available for the England tour in May and, with potentially only one domestic game left in the season, is hoping to use the IPL to gain further match fitness.

However, while Hesson said that New Zealand had missed Vettori in recent times - he has not played internationally since the World Twenty20 and his previous Test was in West Indies last July - he was also strong in his praise of Bruce Martin who has filled the spinner role in this series and claimed nine wickets in his first two Tests.

"All signs are he's made good progress so we'll see how he goes over the next few days," Hesson said. "We've missed him for six months, not only the experience he brings but also the skill he brings. Let's hope his recovery over the next few weeks goes well. To be fair Bruce Martin hasn't put a foot wrong…he has certainly shown that he's a good campaigner."

Two other members already in the Test squad who have not feature in the series, Tom Latham and Ian Butler, will play their Ford Trophy games on Wednesday before joining the national squad for the final Test. The deciding Test in Auckland begins Friday.

New Zealand squad for Auckland Test: Brendon McCullum (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell (pending getting through Ford Trophy game on Wednesday), Dean Brownlie, Ian Butler, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kane_Williamson_Is_The_Best_Batsman on March 20, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    Seriously I don't think the NZ selectors should consider Vettori for Test selection anymore. He's way past his sell by date and contributes little with both bat & ball, although that is the criteria for selecting players in NZ. It is better to invest in some young talent. Also, Bruce Martin is doing the job for the time being but selectors should keep an eye on the future.

  • shortsillypoint on March 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Bruce Martin must stay. Dan V has never won a test for NZ in all his bowling efforts. He should have retired from test cricket and played the limited overs instead as it suits his style of tidy but ineffective wicket taking bowling.

    Resting bowlers after 2 tests? - so when is their next game? - nuts.

  • amclean on March 20, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @ClintBratt - Boult should be 'rested', is that supposed to be a wind up? It's not like we have a more important five-Test series starting next month. It's the most important game in a long time as there is a Test series to be won (not drawn like in Sri Lanka). Why would anyone want a rest?

    The only way there will be a change is through loss of form or injury, otherwise we may as well quit now. That said, when the coach is making astonishing statements like he has here, you never know what might happen.

  • landl47 on March 20, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Bruce Martin has been great in this series, not only bowling well but contributing with the bat as well. I can't see Vettori doing any better.

    England should have batted again in Wellington. NZ did not want to bowl again and England's bowlers were also tired. There was never much chance of a result, so the sensible thing to do would have been to look to the future.

  • Staunch_for_NZ on March 20, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Keep Southee, add Bracewell drop wattling and keeper mc Cullum so we can have maximum bowling power.....come on McCullum....just this test for the series win

  • ClintBratt on March 20, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Wagner has toiled hard and got just reward for putting in 120%. He is courageous and looks able to bend his back for another test, so he deserves a place in the playing XI in Auckland.

    I'd also have Southee there because he is the best exponent of swing bowling. While we haven't had much swing in the series so far it is likely to bend a bit more with the humidity in Auckland.

    On this basis Boult might get a deserved rest and give Bracewell a chance to impress.

  • SameOld on March 20, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    @dickiebrewsters- Good point. But why didn't you list the other six occasions that England has EVER beaten New Zealand?

  • cricketlord2011 on March 19, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    I would actually put Butler in for Southee as he has good pace and would slot in the batting order below Watling.

    Alternatively, drop Brownlee for a game, move lower order up and play 5 bowlers 1: Fulton 2: Rutherford 3: Williamson 4: Taylor 5: McCullum 6: Watling 7: Butler 8: Martin 9: Bracewell 10: Southee 11: Boult

    This way lower workload per bowler whilst bringing in 2 fresh seamers. Batters would have to take more responsibility and whilst 7-11 is a bit thin, 4 of the top 5 are good & Watling is competent at 6. McCullum would have to get 20-30 runs out of each of Nos. 7-10 and if so the selection might pay off.

  • on March 19, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    "Hanging by a thread" - oh come on Hesson! Wasn't it England that bowled twice in Wellington?

    Also, why is the criterion for the next Test's selection how our guys 'scrub up'? Don't form and fitness count for more than looks?

  • grahaam on March 19, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    The New Zealand attack is young and will not be tiring, indeed if they were fit before the series started these long stints will have only made them fitter...Ridiculous heading for the article.

  • Kane_Williamson_Is_The_Best_Batsman on March 20, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    Seriously I don't think the NZ selectors should consider Vettori for Test selection anymore. He's way past his sell by date and contributes little with both bat & ball, although that is the criteria for selecting players in NZ. It is better to invest in some young talent. Also, Bruce Martin is doing the job for the time being but selectors should keep an eye on the future.

  • shortsillypoint on March 20, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Bruce Martin must stay. Dan V has never won a test for NZ in all his bowling efforts. He should have retired from test cricket and played the limited overs instead as it suits his style of tidy but ineffective wicket taking bowling.

    Resting bowlers after 2 tests? - so when is their next game? - nuts.

  • amclean on March 20, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @ClintBratt - Boult should be 'rested', is that supposed to be a wind up? It's not like we have a more important five-Test series starting next month. It's the most important game in a long time as there is a Test series to be won (not drawn like in Sri Lanka). Why would anyone want a rest?

    The only way there will be a change is through loss of form or injury, otherwise we may as well quit now. That said, when the coach is making astonishing statements like he has here, you never know what might happen.

  • landl47 on March 20, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Bruce Martin has been great in this series, not only bowling well but contributing with the bat as well. I can't see Vettori doing any better.

    England should have batted again in Wellington. NZ did not want to bowl again and England's bowlers were also tired. There was never much chance of a result, so the sensible thing to do would have been to look to the future.

  • Staunch_for_NZ on March 20, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Keep Southee, add Bracewell drop wattling and keeper mc Cullum so we can have maximum bowling power.....come on McCullum....just this test for the series win

  • ClintBratt on March 20, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Wagner has toiled hard and got just reward for putting in 120%. He is courageous and looks able to bend his back for another test, so he deserves a place in the playing XI in Auckland.

    I'd also have Southee there because he is the best exponent of swing bowling. While we haven't had much swing in the series so far it is likely to bend a bit more with the humidity in Auckland.

    On this basis Boult might get a deserved rest and give Bracewell a chance to impress.

  • SameOld on March 20, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    @dickiebrewsters- Good point. But why didn't you list the other six occasions that England has EVER beaten New Zealand?

  • cricketlord2011 on March 19, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    I would actually put Butler in for Southee as he has good pace and would slot in the batting order below Watling.

    Alternatively, drop Brownlee for a game, move lower order up and play 5 bowlers 1: Fulton 2: Rutherford 3: Williamson 4: Taylor 5: McCullum 6: Watling 7: Butler 8: Martin 9: Bracewell 10: Southee 11: Boult

    This way lower workload per bowler whilst bringing in 2 fresh seamers. Batters would have to take more responsibility and whilst 7-11 is a bit thin, 4 of the top 5 are good & Watling is competent at 6. McCullum would have to get 20-30 runs out of each of Nos. 7-10 and if so the selection might pay off.

  • on March 19, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    "Hanging by a thread" - oh come on Hesson! Wasn't it England that bowled twice in Wellington?

    Also, why is the criterion for the next Test's selection how our guys 'scrub up'? Don't form and fitness count for more than looks?

  • grahaam on March 19, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    The New Zealand attack is young and will not be tiring, indeed if they were fit before the series started these long stints will have only made them fitter...Ridiculous heading for the article.

  • NostroGustro on March 19, 2013, 18:27 GMT

    My knee jerk reaction would be to put Bracewell in for Southee who continues to display attitude and aptitude issues. However AJ Welsh states it well, Bracewell hasn't bowled well since Hobart, and I feel that Southee probably needed a run and could be about to deliver a good performance. Result - stay with same attack.

    Bruce can hold his spot in the test team ahead of Dan in my opinion. His Basin performance was very good. Dan should go back to the shorter formats and stay there.

  • on March 19, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    Southee looked like taking a wicket an over at the basin, very unlucky

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Poor old Southee has toiled and toiled without success against one of the top two batting sides in world cricket right now. Generally speaking, to get all these guys out cheaply you have to be in some top form and particularly if the pitch isn't offering any assistance. I reakon Southee isn't far off bagging a 5-for going on his consistent performance in the 2nd test. Perhaps if he gets the batsmen playing a bit more and uses slightly more variation in his deliveries, he'll bag a few in this one. If that balls starts swinging, he is lethal. Bracewell hasn't really bowled that well at international level since his 6-for against Aus in late 2011. I can't really see him performing if he is picked for the next test, his foot injury has only just healed and will likely still be playing on his mind as he runs in. Gillespie would be a better bet if there's going to be a change.

  • on March 19, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Bracewell in for Southee. In conditions that don't swing much, Southee has been underwhelming. Yes he did well in SL but at the moment he is the least of these 4 seamers. For batting, Southee is not a no. 8. He has the skill and kudos Baz for trying to kick some confidence in him by putting him up to 8 rather than 10 as he has been in the past, but sadly he just keeps getting out to ridiculous, irresponsible shots. I know the bowling department should be the main concern for selection but at tests you need to be able to assess the situation and stay in if needed. Martin (not the phantom!!!) has been great in that respect.

  • AKS286 on March 19, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    what happen to Luke Ronchi is he qualified or not for NZ. Kyle mills is a good striker with a new ball but i heard that he is retired from test cric really?

  • dickiebrewsters on March 19, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    SameOld - What was the score last time England played the All Blacks ? Ah yes 38-21 to England, good job we get thumped every time by the Kiwis !

  • gsingh7 on March 19, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    want kiwis to win series so that india can go to top 2 in tests after we win series 4-0 against familiar foes in aus. come on black caps, indians are squarely behind u. make english bowlers toil on flat wickets.

  • Fluid36 on March 19, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    SameOld I concurr- that was a very nicely worded comment

  • on March 19, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    C mon Kiwis, you need to beat England in Auckland, Doug Bracewell in place of Tim Southee to go with Wagner, and Boult with Martin as the only spinner is a good attack. But it also depends on how Fulton, Hamish, Taylor, Williamson, Brownlie, Watling and McCullum bats, win toss, bat first put a total and England will be under pressure

  • SameOld on March 19, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Simon Vaughan-Spencer: Wow, that's an interesting interpretation of 'every respect' you have there.

    That said, imagine if England had invented a sport, invested millions of pounds a year in it, had a player base roughly equivalent to the number of New Zealanders who breathe oxygen, and yet still got thumped by the kiwis all the time at said sport.

    Every respect to the English rugby side though. Probably equivalent to The Christchurch Middle School under 15 d side.

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    46 wickets in 15 Tests, eh? Three per match..... PANIC, England! Every respect for NZ, though - perhaps equivalent to Worcestershire & Warwickshire combined.

  • Hiteshvara on March 19, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I feel southee was little unlucky in the 2nd test..can give boult a rest and get back bracewell..But ultimately it doesnt matter who you bring in if the pitch is similar to the ones dished up in dunedin or wellington..Nzealand have got such wonderful swing bowlers and yet pitches are so flat which would be highly deflating for them..Bowlers are paying the price for their incompetent batsmen who cant play in swinging conditions..If england bowlers get opportunity to bowl first in auckland..pretty sure new zealand will be 4 down by lunch which might be the only way of winning this test..

  • nzcricket174 on March 19, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Since getting Compton in the Dunedin test, Southee has gone 70-80 overs without a wicket...or if you want to look at it in a worse way, 400+ overs.

  • pt_pt on March 19, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    If Bracewell does well in the game on Wednesday , have a feeling Southee or Boult might be rested in the final test. Can't see any other changes really.

  • on March 19, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    a real battle for sports alright - Southee has really put his hand up this series.

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  • on March 19, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    a real battle for sports alright - Southee has really put his hand up this series.

  • pt_pt on March 19, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    If Bracewell does well in the game on Wednesday , have a feeling Southee or Boult might be rested in the final test. Can't see any other changes really.

  • nzcricket174 on March 19, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Since getting Compton in the Dunedin test, Southee has gone 70-80 overs without a wicket...or if you want to look at it in a worse way, 400+ overs.

  • Hiteshvara on March 19, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    I feel southee was little unlucky in the 2nd test..can give boult a rest and get back bracewell..But ultimately it doesnt matter who you bring in if the pitch is similar to the ones dished up in dunedin or wellington..Nzealand have got such wonderful swing bowlers and yet pitches are so flat which would be highly deflating for them..Bowlers are paying the price for their incompetent batsmen who cant play in swinging conditions..If england bowlers get opportunity to bowl first in auckland..pretty sure new zealand will be 4 down by lunch which might be the only way of winning this test..

  • on March 19, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    46 wickets in 15 Tests, eh? Three per match..... PANIC, England! Every respect for NZ, though - perhaps equivalent to Worcestershire & Warwickshire combined.

  • SameOld on March 19, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    @Simon Vaughan-Spencer: Wow, that's an interesting interpretation of 'every respect' you have there.

    That said, imagine if England had invented a sport, invested millions of pounds a year in it, had a player base roughly equivalent to the number of New Zealanders who breathe oxygen, and yet still got thumped by the kiwis all the time at said sport.

    Every respect to the English rugby side though. Probably equivalent to The Christchurch Middle School under 15 d side.

  • on March 19, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    C mon Kiwis, you need to beat England in Auckland, Doug Bracewell in place of Tim Southee to go with Wagner, and Boult with Martin as the only spinner is a good attack. But it also depends on how Fulton, Hamish, Taylor, Williamson, Brownlie, Watling and McCullum bats, win toss, bat first put a total and England will be under pressure

  • Fluid36 on March 19, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    SameOld I concurr- that was a very nicely worded comment

  • gsingh7 on March 19, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    want kiwis to win series so that india can go to top 2 in tests after we win series 4-0 against familiar foes in aus. come on black caps, indians are squarely behind u. make english bowlers toil on flat wickets.

  • dickiebrewsters on March 19, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    SameOld - What was the score last time England played the All Blacks ? Ah yes 38-21 to England, good job we get thumped every time by the Kiwis !