New Zealand paceman Neil Wagner believes that Pakistan will come back hard in the second Test, but snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the first Test has given them the confidence of doing something similar and pretty special in the series decider on Thursday (November 22) in Dubai.
Pakistan faces an embarrassing defeat of 4-runs in the series opener of the three-match series after failing to chase down a paltry total of 176 in Abu Dhabi last week but they will certainly bounce back strongly in Dubai Test, but Wagner said the Black Caps are ready for a strong fight here.
Wagner told media ahead of the second Test, “We know that even if we are a little bit behind we can keep fighting, we know what we can achieve. It was bloody tough, hard work, a big fight and it will just get harder. Pakistan will come back hard. Hopefully, we can do something similar and pretty special.”
The Kiwi left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel bagged five wickets in the second innings and two scalps in first innings, but Wagner's lengthy 13-over spell also played a key role in their victory against Pakistan.
He wasn't needed to bowl till the 34th over but he had to return to bowl, bagged the key wicket of Asad Shafiq, causing a collapse, saying their win in Abu Dhabi was 'surreal', describing the finishing stages of the game as 'freakish'.
Wagner further added, “It took a while to sink in. Adrenaline was running high. It was pretty hot at one stage, and the nature of the wicket, it did feel like you were tiring a little but you tried not to think about it or look at the scoreboard. When someone mentions you've bowled 13 overs, then you start feeling tired. I was going all right, you are in a bit zone, and you just keep going. It hits you when you go to bed.”
Wagner signed off by saying, “It's pretty surreal, to be honest. An amazing fightback. We knew we'd be in with a chance if we kept fighting. That last hour was quite freakish. The feeling in the changing room, looking at everyone's faces and seeing the joy and relief, being surprised at what we've achieved. It was pretty awesome to see a guy like Ajaz Patel come in in his first Test, it took me about eight Tests to have my first win, so to play a special part in a win, see a smile on his face, was a cool moment.”
(With Cricketnext Inputs)