Dean Brownlie has spin in sight
After a "wasted" tour to the West Indies, Dean Brownlie is finally being given the batting help he has been asking about for two seasons.
Immediately after the New Zealand A series against India A, which begins on September 18, the Canterbury batsman will fly to India for an intensive 10-day batting trip in an attempt to fix his technical deficiencies against slow bowling in spin-friendly conditions.
On the tour to the Caribbean, Brownlie scored just 79 runs for the Black Caps and was dismissed by spinners in five of his nine innings.
He wasn't the only player to struggle but was the only player axed from the disappointing tour.
Brownlie will spend five days at an academy in Mumbai where he expects to "spend most of the day batting". He then heads to Pune for a handful of games.
"I've wanted this for quite a while," he said. "I've been pushing for this for a couple of years because I didn't want to waste a tour - I suppose like I did - working out my best way of how to play in those conditions.
"But it's been tough because cricket's been so full on and so busy so it's been hard to get the time to do it."
Having been left out of the side for the tour of India and the Twenty20 World Cup and with a tour to Sri Lanka after the World Cup, it is the perfect chance to upskill the Perth-born right-hander.
New Zealand Cricket national selection manager Kim Littlejohn called Brownlie a "guinea-pig" but said if the 10-day sojourn was seen as a success, others could follow suit.
Brownlie has "a few little things" to work on in India but was confident he had the game to play spin in any condition.
He acknowledged he needed to make changes but felt they were more mental than technical and didn't feel that growing up on fast and bouncy Western Australian wickets meant he couldn't play spin. "It's not so much about making big changes to my game," he said.
"Because I think I can play spin well but I do need to work on how I play it in those conditions, obviously."
He thought his mindset was wrong in the Caribbean. Instead of looking to score runs, he put too much emphasis on survival and missed scoring opportunities, often leading to getting trapped in front.
"I need to learn to trust my game a little bit more I think and I realise it shouldn't have taken six weeks on tour to realise what I was doing wrong, but it did."
First up, however, are three 50-over matches against India A, followed by three and four day matches, all at Lincoln.
While Brownlie is desperate to get back into the international side, he's clever enough to realise the best way to do it.
"It's pretty simple isn't it: I've got to score runs in this A tour. If I average 100 then I will get picked."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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