Michael Bracewell Learned To Bowl Spin On The Job, And Now He Has The World Cup In His Sights

Michael Bracewell has always been a force to reckon with. You might recognize him by the nickname "Beast," given to him by his former teammate Sam Wells at Otago because of how fiercely he worked out in the gym. But that's just a little slice of his story.

Michael Bracewell's Profile

Michael Bracewell, born on 14 February 1991, represents Wellington in cricket. Hailing from a family with a rich cricket history, he made his international debut for New Zealand in March 2022. His career has seen various highs, from earning contracts with Wellington to making remarkable scores in Twenty20 matches. He also has the distinction of making his ODI, Test, and T20I debuts quickly, proving his versatility as a cricketer. In the recent IPL 2023, he replaced the injured Will Jacks in the Royal Challengers Bangalore team.

From Batting to Bowling

Back in his Otago days, Michael Bracewell took on the roles of a wicketkeeper and an opening batsman. After relocating to Wellington, he got to flex his bowling muscles more. While he might not spin the ball wildly or have an array of tricks, his precision in off-spin Bowling secured him a spot as New Zealand's third spinner, right behind big names like Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi.

His stats during the Pakistan ODI tour speak for themselves. New Zealand clinched the series 2-1, and Michael Bracewell's contribution was undeniable. With an economy rate of 3.90, he conceded a mere 117 runs in 30 overs, grabbing four wickets. He's shown prowess on pitches back home, and his commendable control in Pakistan convinced the team to employ a trio of spinners, including him, in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup in India.

Michael Bracewell recalls, "After Jeetan Patel's retirement, I had more opportunities to bowl in Wellington. Interacting with bowlers like Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, and Ish Sodhi has enriched my knowledge of spin bowling. It's a continuous learning process."

The Drift Master

While Santner and Sodhi have unique strengths, Michael Bracewell introduces drift into New Zealand's spin formula. Used to leveraging the breeze at Wellington's Basin Reserve, he also found success internationally with his drift skill. In the series decider in Karachi, he astounded Babar Azam with his drift, dismissing him for just four off 13 balls.

Not only is Michael Bracewell an efficient bowler, but he's also a robust batsman. In a match against Ireland in Malahide, he delivered a stellar performance with an unbeaten 127 off 82 balls. With the ODI World Cup in sight, Michael Bracewell emphasises the importance of their current tours.

When did Michael Bracewell make his international debut for New Zealand?
He made his international debut in March 2022.
What are some notable achievements of Bracewell in his career?
Michael Bracewell scored a record T20 141 not out in 2022 and his first ODI century against Ireland in the same year.
How has Michael Bracewell's role in the team evolved over the years?
From being a wicketkeeper-batsman for Otago, Michael Bracewell shifted to off-spin Bowling in Wellington, becoming crucial for New Zealand's spin attack and batting lineup.