Bracewell scored 1,001 runs in Tests, and 512 in ODI matches, with late-order hard-hitting right hand batting, and took 102 Test and 33 ODI wickets with his right-arm off-breaks. He holds the record for the longest ODI career without scoring a half-century or taking a three-wicket haul. His Test career included one century – 110 against England on 7 August 1986. He scored four first-class centuries in all as part of the 4,354 first class runs during a career for Auckland and Otago. He took 522 first class wickets.
Bracewell's approach to team selection has fallen under scrutiny during the 2006/2007 season. Despite levelling the home series with Sri Lanka two-all, New Zealand's top order batting has consistently displayed frailty, and this was most apparent after New Zealand compiled a dismal team total of 73 in one ODI during that series. Moreover, Bracewell has opted for a "rotation" policy within his squad for determining team selections, meaning the batting line-up has been shuffled consistently between successive ODIs. This has received criticism from local media who highlight that New Zealand Cricket is not currently afforded the luxury of a reserve pool of competitive international players, thus making the policy somewhat redundant.
Bracewell also controversially called Australian Fast-bowler Shaun Tait a chucker, and copped a lot of criticism from the cricketing community and also 'revealing' that Adam Gilchrist ducked out of the One-Day match in Hobart because of family issues but shortly, Bracewell withdrew these comments and issued an official apology.