IPL 2023: RCB’s Michael Bracewell Puts Opposition Bowlers On Notice With Fiery Ton In Practice
Michael Bracewell during his whirlwind innings. (Twitter/@mufaddal_vohra)
Michael Bracewell had cracked an ODI century on the tour of India earlier this year and bagged the most number of wickets in the T20I series.
New Zealand allrounder Michael Bracewell, who was a last-minute replacement for the injured Will Jacks in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad, slammed an unbeaten 105 off just 55 balls in a practice match and has put opposition bowlers on notice. In the process, the Kiwi, who got no takers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction in December, showed how mistaken the franchises were to ignore him then.
The 32-year-old allrounder knows a thing or two about playing in India. He had cracked an ODI century on the tour of India earlier this year and bagged the most number of wickets in the T20I series. Bracewell adds depth to any side and the fact that he looks in fine fettle will make RCB captain Faf du Plessis assured.
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Bracewell’s record in T20s has been impressive. He had 2,284 runs in his kitty in 117 T20s, including a century and 13 half-centuries. His runs have come at a strike rate of 133.48. He has also bagged 40 wickets in the shortest format of the game. For the national side, he has played eight Tests, 19 ODIs and 16 T20Is and has hit a couple of ODI tons. He has a four-fer in Tests and his career-best bowling figure in T20Is is a brilliant 3/5 against Ireland, which he recorded in Belfast last year.
Bracewell, therefore, would have been a good strategic pick, but surprisingly, even after entering the auction at a relatively modest base price of Rs 1 crore, he was ignored.
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The importance of Bracewell in the team also stems from the fact that even if he does not feature in the starting eleven, he can be used with good effect as an ‘impact player’. This innovation introduced in the IPL this year will allow teams to change one of the players in the starting eleven to suit their requirements in the middle of the match. However, the change has to be done during the stipulated time frames. This will allow a player like Bracewell to be brought by RCB in place of another overseas player as a specialist batsman or bowler.
RCB are slated to play five-time champions Mumbai Indians in their opening game at their home ground M Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 2. This would be their first home match in four years as the IPL has gone back to being organised all across India based on the old home-away format.
RCB were unlucky last year and despite winning their first playoff game (first qualifier) against Lucknow Super Giants at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, they were edged out by Rajasthan Royals in the second qualifier at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium.
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