The last few test matches have been far from ideal for New Zealand’s Doug Bracewell. The talented pacer has bowled extremely well in patches, but the same has not been reflected in his wickets column. The underperforming pacer was recently backed by New Zealand’s bowling coach Dimitri Mascarenhas, who even said that Bracewell had been New Zealand’s best pacer in the first test.

“Doug’s probably been the best bowler, but isn’t getting all the wickets,” Mascarenhas said. “That’s how teamwork goes in a bowling unit. Sometimes it might be your day. As long as you keep plugging away, the next day will be his.”  “For Doug, it’s all about hitting his areas as hard as he can for as long as he can,” Mascarenhas said. “One of his big work-ons has been to swing the ball a bit more consistently, and he’s working really hard at that. If he keeps putting the ball where he is at the moment, he’s going to get a lot of wickets,” he added.

With a green pitch on the cards, Mascarenhas hinted that Neil Wagner would again be in the playing XI. “He’s always in and around, Wags,” Mascarenhas said. “You know what you’re going to get – he’s going to run in and give 110%. He started off a bit nervy in the first Test, firing the ball around the shop, but he got it together and showed what he’s done for New Zealand’s Test cricket in the last couple of years.”

“They’ve got some really talented and skillful players. It’s hard work. We know how strong they are. They’ve lost a couple of big players, but they ones coming in are getting opportunities and hopefully are going to be taking them. It’s going to be a tough Test,” said Mascarenhas, praising the Sri Lankans.



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