ICC World Test Championship final is like World Cup final for me: Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner holds the third place in ICC Test bowling rankings.
Updated - May 30, 2021 5:36 pm
New Zealand have taken giant strides in international cricket in the last few years, and they now are just one step away from becoming the ultimate champions of Test cricket. The Kiwis will lock horns with India in the ICC World Test Championship final against India next month. Neil Wagner would be critical to New Zealand’s success in the summit clash, and the left-arm pacer must leave no stones unturned.
Wagner has been a mainstay of New Zealand’s Test line-up for nearly a decade, and his record is also sensational. However, the 35-year-old didn’t play a single white-ball game for the Blackcaps. Speaking of the same, the left-arm fast bowler admitted that not representing New Zealand in limited-overs cricket is his biggest disappointment. However, the veteran cricketer also claimed that the WTC final is like a World Cup for him, and he would like to take the Kiwis to glory.
Not playing a white-ball game for New Zealand is my biggest disappointment: Neil Wagner
“Yeah, it is like a World Cup final for me. The biggest disappointment, I guess, in my career is that I’ve never really played a white-ball game for New Zealand or never been able to crack into the T20 or the one-day game. That ship has probably sailed now and I don’t think the opportunity will ever come,” Wagner was quoted as per saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“For me now, it’s about putting all my focus and energy into Test cricket and to be able to play in a World Test Championship final is like a World Cup for me,” added the third-ranked Test bowler.
Speaking of his plans for the WTC final, the left-arm pacer expressed his excitement but also said he would treat the crucial game as a regular Test match. “It’s extremely exciting, but I don’t want to think too far ahead. Don’t want to let the occasion get to you, just treat it like another Test match and do the same things you do. It’s definitely going to be a special occasion. That’s for sure,” he asserted.
The WTC final will get underway on June 18 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Prior to the summit clash, New Zealand will meet hosts England in a two-match Test series, starting from June 2. Hence, Wagner and other New Zealand players will have an excellent chance for preparation. On the other hand, India won’t get any such opportunity to get in the groove.