New Zealand Test specialist Neil Wagner still dreaming white-ball call-up

Neil Wagner doesn't want to be a short-ball specialist.

Wagner has played 36 Tests and has picked up 149 wickets for New Zealand | Getty Images

Neil Wagner, one of the key members of New Zealand's pace attack in Test Cricket, has never given up on playing white-ball Cricket for his country, saying it still remains on his bucket list.

Wagner, who is the master of the short ball, doesn’t want to be seen as "a one-trick pony" and he is aiming to do the best to break into the Black Caps’ limited-overs squad after having a brilliant outing for Essex in the Royal London One-Day Cup in England.

Since making his Test debut in July 2012, Wagner has played 36 Tests and has picked up 149 wickets for New Zealand, but hasn't been awarded a chance in ODIs and T20Is despite his more than 100 List A appearances. However, he is still dreaming of playing White-ball game for New Zealand.

Wagner told stuff.co.nz on Tuesday (October 16), “It [white-ball cricket] is something that I've always wanted in my life. I think there was a period of time where I put way too much pressure on myself in wanting to achieve it too much, and trying too hard to get there, and felt like I had to set the world on fire. And the more you tried the less success you hand.”

On his bowling, the paceman added, “It's something that I've always bowled, in my whole career. My short ball has always been a weapon for me. It wasn't till we went through a period where conditions were either not suitable to swing bowling, or the ball would get soft at times and there was just not a lot offering when you did pitch it up on a good area and batters look settled. So you had to find different methods. When it's required to bowl a good line and length, and either restrict or attack and be aggressive in different areas, to be able to do that too, and be consistent while doing it.”

He further added, "You don't want to be seen as a one-trick pony. For me, it's when the conditions are right and it's asked for, I know I can fall to that. And then also when it's required to bowl a good line and length, and either restrict or attack and be aggressive in different areas, to be able to do that too and be consistent while doing it."

Meanwhile, Wagner is well aware of the fact that there are fewer chances for him to play limited overs game for his country as he is getting older day by day, turning 33 next March, and emergence of new talent and they have already a well-built line-up at the moment, he has to wait for it, if come in the future.

Wagner signed off by saying, “Sometimes I feel like I am dreaming, because it's probably not going to happen, and I'm not getting any younger, and the guys there have been doing an amazing job. If I pay too much attention to that you sort of lose focus on the things you do well, so for me it's just to keep contributing and doing what I do best, and hopefully that opportunity arises.”

(Input: Stuff Sport New Zealand)


By Rashmi Nanda - 16 Oct, 2018

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