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Neil Wagner pleased with career best performance

Neil Wagner
Neil Wagner. (© Getty Images)

Day one of the Zimbabwe v New Zealand Test match at Bulawayo will always be remembered for the splendid performance of Kiwi pacer Neil Wagner. The left-arm New Zealand seamer, however, has stated that the bowling stocks of the Kiwi national team were perhaps the main reason why he was able to perform as well as he did. Wagner concluded with figures of 6/19, thus becoming his career-best figures after a short hiatus from Test cricket.

He stated that the short-ball was one of his strengths given the pace at which he bowls. A higher percentage of Wagner’s wickets were claimed by the appropriate usage of the short-pitched delivery. “It’s a tactic of mine that’s one of my strengths, but it’s more an option of trying to get players off the front foot and creating opportunities,” he told reporters.

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“It’s to get some doubt into their footwork and obviously try and get a nick when you’re pitching it up.

“With the wicket being flat, you have to try some options in creating the results and luckily for me it worked.

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“Getting career best figures is obviously a nice moment but just getting the opportunity to play Test cricket again and do well for your team is really pleasing. I thought the other guys bowled really well and as a whole team we did outstanding.”

Wagner also went on to commend the fact that the New Zealand side had made progress when it came to their fast bowling department. “We have been saying for a few years now that we have a team that’s horses for courses and we’ve got an outstanding bowling lineup with five quality seamers,” he said.

”On the day, whoever is required in whatever conditions to deliver a job for the team, we’ve got that.

“It’s sometimes a coach’s nightmare but it’s a good position to be in to have that quality of fast bowlers and spin bowlers in the team.”

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“We’re in a very good position but it’s going to take a lot of hard graft. If we come in tomorrow and bat well in partnerships and keep building, then we can assess conditions and see where we go from there and get a good score,” Wagner said.

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