Consistency Is The Key To Persevering Wagner > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Consistency the key for workhorse Wagner

Wagner claimed his sixth five-wicket haul in Test match cricket

Workhorse. In the modern-day cricketing realm, the word "Workhorse" is endangered. There's cricket around the calendar year, with barely any room for rest between match days. If there were any more cricket in the FTP, the cricketers might as well have to use time-turners from the Ministry of Magic, owing to the need to be at two places at once.

And then there is Neil Wagner. After Ryan Harris, Wagner has been the one workhorse in the modern day and age, ready to sacrifice limited-overs stints for Test cricket, and bowl his heart out in the steaming sun, and battling his own body, to intimidate the batsman enough with the Bodyline - taking the longer, more draining, and more brutal route to a wicket. He did that in the searing heat of the UAE late last year, and he did it again on Day 1 of the first Test against Bangladesh on Thursday, picking up his sixth five-wicket haul in Test cricket, ripping the heart out of Bangladesh's middle-order after Tamim Iqbal got them off to a flying start, going on to score a fluent hundred.

"We obviously tried to take the ball away from him a little bit," said Wagner about his strategy against Tamim Iqbal. "I think he's obviously quite strong square of the wicket and he showed that even with the ball swinging."

"He played some glorious shots through the covers and square of the wicket so we knew we had to change our plan to him and try to dot him up in a way because he was scoring quite quickly too. He was putting a lot of pressure on us and trying to find a way of getting him off strike and we did that quite well I think and we got the rewards for it."

As is the Kiwi way, Wagner was extremely appreciative of the way Bangladesh batted, particularly the experienced Tamim Iqbal, who counter-attacked and made the bowlers reconsider their plans, pushing the Kiwis into using the short ball ploy, which may have been their only hope at the time.

"I thought Bangladesh batted very well. Tamim obviously batted extremely well and for him to come on a day when you think the ball is going to go round and do a bit, to hit us off our lengths and play as strongly as he did shows obviously the quality of the player and how well he played. He made it quite hard for us and we had to fight hard to get those wickets and get ourselves back into the game. I thought we did that really well."

Particularly with the wicket of Mominul, it was clear that it wasn't one that can be understood by watching a highlights reel. The intimidation that led up to it deserves more credit for coaxing Mominal into gloving that down the leg-side. Mahmudullah, and three other wickets, all came to the robotic like bowling by Wagner. Make no mistake though, it requires as much brain as it does brawn.

"It is tough doing it. It's not easy on the body and obviously you've got to keep consistently trying to do it, and on the day it's got to come off," Wagner said. "But credit to all the guys. The catching was phenomenal and the big blue sky like that with a bit of wind around - it takes some serious catching. Our group has been phenomenal at that over the years."

The burly left-arm also spoke about the different factors, other than the pitch, that affect the playing conditions particularly in New Zealand, and despite misreading the conditions due to the amalgamation of factors in play, he lauded his teammates for getting themselves back in the game despite a poor start and against all odds.

"Conditions are so different in New Zealand. If there is less wind or more wind or if the sun is out, there's a big blue [sky], or if there's a bit of moisture around, if it's humid it can swing around," said the southpaw. "It didn't really do as much today as we thought it would and the wicket obviously played a lot better than we thought it would play. There wasn't as much movement but it showed the quality of the group as well to assess that and get ourselves back in the game. I thought we did that really well and obviously got the rewards for it."

Live Home Series
Player Schedule
Points Table Cricket Rankings
Cricket Clothing Cricket Equipment
Cricinfo Apps Download