He is nicknamed the ‘Beast’ by his Kiwi teammates and the world has seen a fair number of reasons as to why that particular nickname.
But hold on.
He was only playing his fourth one day international, when Michael Bracewell fired what has since turned to best his personal best score of 127 (against Ireland). The inning was so highly rated, actually featuring 24 runs off the final over at the behest of the left-hander that Wisden would sing praises about it and the world wouldn’t stop raving about it.
A little over a year down the line, Michael Bracewell was at it again; his famous century all but won New Zealand what may have just been an incredible run-heist at Hyderabad against an imposing Indian total.
In the end, they made 337 and fell only 12 runs short; but here was the kicker. Michael Bracewell alone accounted for 140 of the Blackcaps’ runs scoring nearly 40 per cent of the Kiwi output on that unforgettable January evening.
The way he was firing sixes at almost free will was about as captivating as his north of 100 strike rate; the tall leftie ending with a SR of 179.
Rohit was in attendance, as were Kohli, Kishan and Sky; but little could they do instead of anticipating when might that hell of a batting riot end. Finally, “Lord” Shardul did it.
But what have been his scores since the famous Hyderabad century?
The 1 against India in the first of the three-match T20I series (at Ranchi), and before that- scores of 26 and 22 in the remaining two one day internationals.
And that’s that!
For a batsman who very nearly won New Zealand a one day contest on his own hasn’t even been able to fire a thirty-plus knock for his side in the games that followed.
To a side ostensibly dependant on Kane Williamson’s batting prowess, there’s a lot that talents like Michael Bracewell bring to the stable.
They offer a sense of resilience from lower down the order that truly affirms the sentiment that all’s not over for as long as batters of his might are around and hanging in there.
And not to forget that the runs shall flow and perhaps even freely so for as long as Bracewell and his likes bat it out.
Though truth be told, never before have New Zealand desired runs so keenly from the rest of their batters than what appears today.
This is a side that’s fortunate to have found an accomplished batsman like Devon Conway. The very Quinton de Kock meets Shimron Hetmyer style player has been capturing headlines nearly everywhere he’s been seen batting.
Even in the previous contest against India, Conway began with an impressive fifty, notching up 52 runs off just six overs.
But for how much longer can New Zealand flex their batting muscles at the behest of Conway’s talent? Most noticeably, the others, featuring Daryl Mitchell have arrived and finally so; a cracker of a fifty, dazed with several sixes, eventually turning into a matchwinning effort at Jharkhand.
But where are the rest? When is a Michael Bracewell going to join the party once again and prove that he isn’t someone who’s just content at hitting big runs in a singular contest turning banal and toothless in the rest of the games?
That he’s no one match wonder, as they call it has been proven especially given his scintillating hundred against India that came a year after his cracker of a century versus Ireland.
But where have the runs gone missing since?
That New Zealand have a fantastic opportunity to seal the series with another win in the upcoming game is true.
It’s not always that an opponent manages to come on top of India at the latter’s home. But if 2023 is to begin with a bang for the Kiwis, then Michael Bracewell must return to the party and begin scoring again as he well and truly can. And perhaps, it’s time- he must.