England vs NZ, 2nd test
At the time, as New Zealand went from 104 for 1 to 131 for 4 and then 213 for 7, amid a series of outings and aggressive shooting, it looked like they were losing their grip on this game – and the series . This is not the case, as the innings were the result of their desire to push for a result: the Baz effect, of two teams trying to outdo each other.
Bracewell himself, however, was the first real sign that New Zealand was pushing – he smoked four limits and a six in a 17-ball 25. Until then, their hitter had been a more cautious mix of preservation and d intent, interrupted by a run- and a series of return punches that hadn’t been executed as well as they could have been.
Bracewell flatly dismissed the idea that a draw was ever on their minds. “We try to play positively as a team and ultimately try to win Test cricket matches,” he said. “The plan was to go out and be super positive. I managed to get a few out of the middle but unfortunately I couldn’t make a bigger score.
“The draw comes out at the end if victory is not possible, rather than the other way around. We are ready to win a series of tests against England. You want to get as many WTC points as possible. We I want to win cricket matches eventually and if that happens tomorrow where we have to play a bit more negatively towards the end of the day, we’ll play that way. But yeah, we’re still aiming to win cricket matches.”
He already had an impressive first Test, a first innings of 49 followed by 3 for 62 when England struck. There were a few drifts, a few turns and a lot of bouncing, all of which can again play a role.
“The wicket is deteriorating well for us,” he said. “There seems to be a bit more cornering and rebounding. Leachy showed that today so yeah I’m excited to come out and play on it. The England team might come up with a few different plans to try and play against me in round 4. It will be an exciting day to really test my skills against some of the best players in the world.
Although the races came quickly and with some ease, England want to keep the target as low as possible. There is trust after the pursuit, in more delicate conditions, at Lord’s. There is also the knowledge that there are still runs to be done on the surface.
“So much happened this afternoon that now all three results are on the line. It should be one hell of a day.”
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