Having already lost the first Test against New Zealand by ten wickets at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, India is under pressure to fight for a positive result in the second Test. But they will have their work cut out because Neil Wagner will be available for selection in the second Test, which will make the game even more difficult for India.
Wagner opted out of the first Test because he was awaiting the birth of his child. Now back in the scheme of things, Wagner revealed his tactics to get the top batsman of the opposition out. Virat Kohli has been in poor form for the whole New Zealand tour and thus Wagner was keen to exploit Kohli's lean patch. Wagner has got Kohli out thrice in six innings and thus he believed that he could trouble India's number one batsman.
“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.co.nz.
"Drying him up, making sure they don’t score and putting a lot of pressure on him from both ends [is imperative],” he added.
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The short-ball ploy that Wagner used against Australia in the Test series troubled the Australian batsmen a lot and similar tactics could be used against Indian batsmen. It was the Test series against India back in 2013-14 that changed the career of Wagner as he put on a string of impressive performances, especially in the Auckland Test where New Zealand won by 40 runs.
“I think it was a stage where I was still trying to find my feet in the team and trying to find a way of getting a role and doing my role in the team,” Wagner stated.
“It was an amazing Test win and something I always look back to and I think it kickstarted my career. Before that I was going through the phase where you have quite a few ups and downs and try to find your feet,” he concluded.Published 26 Feb 2020, 15:31 IST