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Cricket news - England Tests not warm-ups for Test Championship final - Wagner

Wagner stressed the training sessions with the Duke ball ahead of the tour have been "quite beneficial".

Wagner stressed the training sessions with the Duke ball ahead of the tour have been "quite beneficial".

Neil Wagner has stressed New Zealand are not going to treat the two-Test series against England ahead of the World Test Championship final as warm-up for the all-important title clash. New Zealand play two Tests from June 2 and then take on India in the WTC final from June 18 - just three days after the second Test.

"We're not going to treat these two Test matches against England just as warm-ups [for the WTC final]," Wagner said before leaving for the United Kingdom. "I know for a fact we're going to get out there and pride ourselves the way we've been playing Test cricket and we want to win Test matches for New Zealand."

New Zealand are likely to have the edge over India given they'll have time to acclimatise to the conditions. They have already ramped up preparation with a camp ahead of the tour with the players trying to familiarise with the Dukes ball. Wagner has experience of playing in England - having featured for Lancashire in the County Championship and was also part of the side that toured in 2013. The pacer acknowledged that practicing with the Duke Ball has been "quite beneficial".

"The way we've been training for the last while is something we didn't always have in the past, having the facilities and having a marquee up and getting a number of training (sessions) in before going to England. On tours, in the past, you rock up there and you've only got a couple of training (sessions) and maybe one head out with the Dukes ball before the first Test and with that you can find yourself a little bit behind," he pointed out.

"But having had those little bit of trainings leading into it has been quite beneficial, just because it's a little bit different, and obviously adapting to it. It's been really good preparation and everybody is excited bowling with it. Sometimes you have to control all that because there's a high expectation of the ball doing a lot and moving around but sometimes you can get there and it can be quite flat and slow as well. The nice thing about it is we've got a wealth of experience and the guys have been there before so we can feed off each other and bounce ideas off each other as well."

Wagner conceded he's banking on his past experience to do well in England. "The nice thing is that the nerves and the unknowns are away, I've played at Lord's couple of times now," he said. "I've played one Test there in 2013 and a couple of county games too, so it's nice to get there when things feel familiar. Sometimes you can get there and get a little but starstruck with the whole experience and everything because you grow up as a kid wanting to be there and all those sort of things. Having been there and played on those grounds, we've been around those conditions so it's nice to go there and hit the ground running, knowing what to expect."