Post the memorable win against India, Kiwi pacer Neil Wagner has admitted that the World Test Championship win has urged him to work harder before stating that he got plenty left in the tank. Wagner also stated that the win was definitely the pinnacle for him and hailed Kyle Jamieson’s efforts.
Having not represented New Zealand in any other formats, the World Test Championship was a huge moment for the 35-year-old Neil Wagner. The 54-Test-old man has been an ever-present figure in the BlackCaps’ growth to becoming the best Test-playing team in the world. Alongside that, the Kane Williamson-led side were against a strong opponent in the form of the Indian team.
Throughout his Test career, Wagner has been a workhorse for the national team, with him picking up three crucial wickets in the final. Post the win for New Zealand, Wagner admitted that the World Test Championship title has urged him to work harder. Alongside that, the 35-year-old also added that he has got plenty of Tests left in his tank.
“I’ve got plenty left in the tank. Age is just a number for me personally and I feel potentially I haven’t got the five-wicket bags or performances behind my name that I wanted to, but still feel I’m contributing and playing a role, doing what I’m doing and that is just my role,” Wagner admitted in the press conference, reported Cricbuzz.
“It’s not always going to have the glory numbers or the wickets or whatever it is, but I’ve got a role I can fulfill for the team and as long as I’m needed or called upon, or I guess asked to do a job, 100% I’ll be there to contribute.”
“If anything this [WTC title] has just urged me on to work harder and my game personally, but also on a fitness level and all those sorts of things to keep playing and performing and doing my role to the best of my ability as much as I can and contribute to the team.”
The left-arm pacer also revealed that winning the Test Championship was definitely the pinnacle of the game for him. He also thanked the endless support from the BlackCaps’ fan-base, stating that this win is probably up there as one of his best wins in life.
“I can’t speak for everyone, this is the ultimate for me to win a Test Championship final though it’s the first one and probably hard to compare with others, it’s definitely the pinnacle of the game for me,” he added
“And to win it against a quality team like India and the way we did and then to see what it has meant to everyone… The support back home and support that was around there – the text messages keep flowing in, the phone keeps buzzing and to see what it has meant for Kiwi supporters and family and friends, it means a lot to us too. So, it’s definitely right up there.”
Having joined late to the party, Kyle Jamieson has already made a mark for himself in this New Zealand setup, with 46 wickets in his eight Tests, averaging 14.17 while striking at 37.8. Wagner hailed his influence on the setup and insisted that he has been instrumental in the team’s win over the past two years.
“Every game he’s (Jamieson) getting better and better, his willingness to learn, how he’s been bowling with the team and the performances he has put in have put him a long way ahead of the cricketer he’s still yet to be and become. He’s been instrumental to us; yes it’s been amazing to do it with Tim [Southee] and Trent [Boult] as well with myself.”
He also hoped that Jamieson could keep up the pace and form to keep putting up performances as he did in the World Test Championship final, where he picked up the Player of the Match award, for his spell of 7/61.
“I remember when I started my career, it took about 11 Test matches before I even got a Test win. Kyle has played eight – he hasn’t lost one or drawn one yet [laughs]. That’s pretty amazing and he’s played a massive part in that [success] too. Good on him and hopefully he can continue and as a bowling unit, hopefully we can continue to learn and get better and obviously put more performances like this for New Zealand cricket.”