Another product from Bracewell family, NZ's Michael reveals his secret of success after thriller against India
After his jaw-dropping 140 off 78 balls in the first ODI against India on Wednesday, 31-year-old New Zealander Michael Bracewell has made a strong case to be rated as the most feared number seven batter in the world.
Michael is a late bloomer, but cricket runs in his family, and he is doing the Bracewells proud. The 31-year-old New Zealander has established a strong case for being regarded as the most dangerous number seven batsman in the world after his mind-blowing 140 off 78 balls in the first ODI against India on Wednesday in Hyderabad.
At 131 for six, with his team trailing the 350-run target, Michael kept his composure and smashed the Indian attack to all parts of the ground, putting his team just 12 runs away from an unlikely victory.
Whether it was a daring scoop from Mohammed Shami or an unbelievable driver over cover from Kuldeep Yadav, such was the zone where he picked a position, and the ball followed.
His blade landed as much as ten sixes in total. Ten years after his initial first-class appearance, Michael earned his international debut in March of last year, and he is unquestionably making the most of the chance. He had already encountered helpless circumstances.
He had scored an unbeaten 127 against Ireland in just his fourth ODI to help New Zealand chase down 301 after they had lost six wickets for 153 runs. On Wednesday, he could not lead his team to victory, but he gained a lot of admirers for his spirited performance.
His family, which includes three Test cricketers, John Bracewell (uncle), Brendon Bracewell (uncle) and Doug Bracewell (cousin), must be proud too. His father Mark, his coach since childhood, played first-class cricket in New Zealand.
Speaking after his epic innings, Bracewell said years spent in domestic cricket are helping him massively at the highest level.
"I would say most international cricketers are pretty motivated, but the benefit that I have is that I was able to get experience in domestic cricket and understand the way that I want to play. I came into international cricket, sort of knowing this is how I am successful domestically, and I am going to try and emulate that in international cricket. So far, there have been some patchy moments, but when it comes off it feels pretty good. Unfortunately, could not get the team over the line tonight," said Michael after the game.
Mitchell Santner and Michael collaborated on a record-setting 162-run stand to force extra innings. New Zealand needed as many as 219 runs when he entered the crease in the 29th over. He believes the awful circumstances, nonetheless, were to his advantage.
"I think you are just trying to win the game of cricket really. It is just about coming in and trying to do your role. It sort of takes the pressure off when you are losing so many wickets. You just try and rebuild and not get too far ahead of yourself," he said when asked about his mindset while batting alongside Santer.
"It is one of those things once you get over the line, you start believing you can do it again. We watched Shubman bat for 50 overs and saw that it was a pretty good wicket. You could play your shots, especially down the ground looked pretty small straights," he added.
"We were just talking about to give ourselves a chance and take the game deep. We did not really talk too much about winning the game at that stage, but if you are able to do the groundwork early you give yourself a chance at the back end. We were able to get close but unfortunately wasn't enough," he noted.
In addition to 100 first-class matches, Michael has played a significant amount of T20 cricket in New Zealand and is proficient with his off-spin. It was not shocking when he played an ODI inning in T20 fashion.
"T20 has been a huge influence on one-day cricket, and that is what makes one-day cricket so exciting. You can be in a position like we were in, and you can still work your way up to a position of power. I don't think we got ourselves to a position of power, but we got ourselves into a position where we could have won the game. The skills that players are learning in T20 cricket are hugely beneficial for the one-day game," he reckoned.
Talking about the cricketing tradition in the family, Michael said he is spoilt for choice when it comes to taking advice but values his father's opinion the most.
"I talk to a whole of people about the game and keep it like a closed circle. My dad is probably the one I talk to the most. He gives great advice since I was 2. I certainly value his opinion more than anyone else but being away from home, the coaching staff at BLACKCAPS has been amazing and fantastic to bounce ideas off," he concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)