Windies v NZ
Wrapped in a tracksuit and matching beanie, Doug Bracewell darts out of a Napier gym for a snap interview in my car before beginning his workout.
The allrounder's sensibly warm attire contrasts starkly with what he'll wear on the Black Caps' tour of the West Indies. He makes his maiden voyage there this Sunday via the United States.
Consequently, he said the four-day trip to Brisbane this week for drills with New Zealand bowling coach Damian Wright, alongside half a dozen other Black Caps bowlers, rated as a godsend in acclimatisation stakes after the chills of the New Zealand winter.
So was his six-week stint with the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL Twenty/20 competition, which ended last month.
The 21-year-old Taradale Cricket Club player took a fortnight off soon after returning from the IPL before getting into his gym routine and a few net sessions per week.
Before departing for Brisbane last Sunday (he returns today), Bracewell said he felt fit and healthy.
If the Ross Taylor-skippered Black Caps need an incentive to perform in the West Indies, then they need not look far.
Bracewell's disappointment in seeing coach John Wright on his swansong tour is the common denominator, motivationally speaking.
"He's obviously got a lot of respect from the guys and he's done pretty well, so it'll be sad for Wrighty to leave," Bracewell said.
"We'll be looking to make this West Indies tour a big one for him and send him off on a high note."
Bracewell had been watching the Windies in action on TV on their tour of England.
"I've heard it's a lot similar to India and Sri Lanka over there, so I think we'll be expecting pretty slow and low wickets," he says, relieved to have worked on the length of his deliveries in the subcontinent and dining on the different pace that those wickets served up to him as a batsman.
He considers himself lucky to have had Windies allrounder Andre Russell in his IPL team.
"I saw a little bit of him, because he's likely to be playing in the shorter form."
Spinner Sunil Narine had proved to be a handful, too, frugally conceding five runs an over at IPL.
"He's one of the better bowlers and there are 10 different types of ball he can deliver."
Keeping Chris Gayle on a leash during the tour will be paramount, after the former Windies captain exorcised his demons in a drawn-out impasse with his parent cricketing body.
"We have to figure out some plans on where to bowl to Gayle and watch a few videos - but, yeah, he smokes them everywhere, so ... " Bracewell says with a grin.
While the pitches will offer some purchase to spinners, he feels it'll be captain Taylor and coach Wright's call on what will constitute a decent New Zealand bowling attack.
"It'll be interesting, because a few debutants will be going over."
Teammates who gave him tips on what the IPL would be like in India had been "spot on".
"It's pretty crazy and the crowds were unreal.
"I'd never played before so many people before in the one game I played," he said of the match against Gayle's Royal Challengers Bangalore.
He took three scalps, a catch, a run-out and was 12 not out, but rued not getting to bowl to Gayle, who didn't play before the crowd of about 65,000. Other grounds accommodate 80,000-plus fans.
"It's a good buzz entertaining so many fans, so that's pretty cool."
Overall, it is fair to say Bracewell fought boredom in the hotel-to-hotel nomadic existence.
"I would have liked to have played more games. I thought I'd have got a couple more but that's the way it goes," he says, accepting it's hard to change a winning formula unless there are injuries.
Having South African seamer Morne Morkel going on to become a leading wicket taker was a testimony to that winning streak.
Bracewell is keen to go back to the IPL but only if he is guaranteed more game time.
"It's pretty tough sitting on the sidelines and not playing.
"You feel a little bit left out."
Having said that, he didn't feel the IPL stint was a waste of time because he also got some much-needed rest after a hectic 2011-12 summer.
"It was a definitely good six weeks for me because I bowled to different batsmen and did quite a bit of work in the nets."
After-match parties also lived up to the hype.
"I got to meet new players and have drinks with some of the best players in the world, so the social aspect was great," he says of the players including Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner, Taylor and Kevin Pietersen.
He missed meeting fellow CD Stag and ex-Napier flatmate Tarun Nethula because he had to catch an earlier flight home.
"A bit of bad timing there, but he might have caught up with Ross Taylor at some stage so, yes, it was disappointing not catching up with Tarun there."
Morkel's professionalism left an indelible impression on Bracewell.
"It's how he trains and he's quite hard on himself, so he's got a pretty good attitude."
While he enjoyed interacting with everyone in the team, Bracewell didn't get much time to pick their brains because he wasn't in the starting XI.
Nevertheless, he reckons South African batsman AB de Villiers is one of the best players around.
"Watching him play was unbelievable. I bowled to him when he came around here [last summer]. He's definitely one of the hardest batsman to bowl to because he's got many shots and so much time."