New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner has a definitive plan to combat Indian captain Virat Kohli during the second Test at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch later this week.
Wagner missed the series opener at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, where New Zealand won by 10 wickets for an early lead in the two-match series, due to paternity leave. He will likely return to the XI for the series decider.
“Every team I play against I always try and target and go for their best players, because you know what a big stride it makes within a team when you get their best players out,” Wagner told Stuff.
“Drying him up, making sure they don't score and putting a lot of pressure on him from both ends is imperative.
“It was amazing to be there for the birth of my first child and to be there with my wife and support her all the way, who's been phenomenal and amazing throughout my career, to be able to be there for her as well and support her through this is, yeah, pretty special, and I wouldn't change it for anything else.”
Wagner on Southee and Jamieson
Left-armer Wagner will likely replace fellow specialist spinner Ajaz Patel or fast bowler Kyle Jamieson in the XI for the Christchurch Test. Jamieson impressed on debut in Wellington, while Patel bowled just six overs.
“Really glad and happy for Kyle to get his opportunity, and for him to have done what he's done. He'll take a lot of confidence from it, and it'll do him a hell of a lot of good for his future as well, leading into the games he's definitely going to play in the near future,” added Wagner.
“So very happy for him, and I really hope he enjoyed that limousine ride, because it's something really special, and I know it's a memory that'll always be with him.”
The veteran Tim Southee was given the Player of the Match award after the first Test in Wellington. He took four wickets in the first innings and five in the second for a haul of nine for 110.
“Very stoked for Tim, to be able to get rewards from the hard work he's put in the whole summer. There was a lot of periods where he's bowled a lot of long, hard, tough overs into the wind, and I was able to get a lot of success and Timmy didn't always get that reward or success from the other end. He's finally reaped the rewards that he thoroughly deserved,” concluded Wagner.