Neil Wagner has revealed that he could not walk on the final day of the New Zealand vs Pakistan Test after breaking his toes earlier. The Kiwi pacer admitted how a burning desire to get his team over the line pushed him to pull off a mammoth bowling effort at the Bay Oval.
Neil Wagner famously played the last 3 days of the Test with broken toes to help his side to a 101-run victory. Wagner was struck on his right foot by a Shaheen Afridi yorker in the 1st innings, and scans revealed that Neil Wagner had broken two toes in his landing foot. However, the fast bowler famously played through the pain barrier, bowling until the final day as he claimed two wickets in the second innings.
Speaking to 1News after the Test win, Neil Wagner opened up on his struggles while bowling with broken toes during the match.
"On the last day, I couldn't walk getting out of bed. I sort of fell to the ground quite frustrated and quite angry, and just wanted to get out there and play.
The fast bowler didn’t let the injury affect him, as he bowled 49 overs despite the injury. He took injections throughout the Test and ended with match figures of 4/105. Neil Wagner also played an instrumental role on the final day of the Test, as he picked up the wickets of centurion Fawad Alam and the dangerous Faheem Ashraf to expose the Pakistan tail.
Neil Wagner sheds light on battle with broken toes during 1st Test
The fast bowler disclosed the multiple ways he tried to combat the pain, to continue bowling for New Zealand. Neil Wagner admitted that although the injections helped, the pain used to come back every two hours.
"As I tried to walk, the pain got worse and worse, and I got the frozen vegetables out of the fridge and a couple of ice bags and tried to ice it a couple of times. About the 12th injection on the day, I started screaming and squealing a bit and biting on the towel. The injections helped for about two hours then you got to try and bite your teeth, grit and go through it."
Neil Wagner admitted that the desire to help New Zealand win pushed him to play through the pain barrier. Many, including opposing captain Mohammad Rizwan, praised the Kiwi pacer for his brave efforts during the match.
"I kept walking back to my mark saying to myself. Just one wicket, just one wicket. The desire to help the team is just there, you know, and it sort of gets you through it."
The fast bowler’s efforts came at a cost though. Neil Wagner will miss the 2nd Test against Pakistan, with the bowler ruled out of action for six weeks. Matt Henry has been named as a replacement for the 2nd Test, which is scheduled to begin on January 3.Published 02 Jan 2021, 14:05 IST