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Wed Apr 23 08:51:05 SAST 2014

Wagner will bowl quickly and aggressively

TEAMtalk Media | 12 June, 2012 11:280 Comments
Neil Wagner of the Volts celebrates bowling Aces batsman Lou Vincent during a domestic one day match between the Auckland Aces and the Otago Volts at Colin Maiden Park on January 30, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand
Image by: Simon Watts / Getty Images

Reverse-swing and raw pace will be key to Neil Wagner's approach come the two-test series against the West Indies later this year.

Wagner was named in New Zealand's 15-man squad earlier this month, ending a four-year qualification period for the South African-born seamer.

He joins Chris Martin, Mark Gillespie, Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell in a pace battery without the services of Tim Southee, who has been dropped after an inadequate stretch of form.

"It has been my major strength in the past and, reverse swing. Once it does move, the batsmen do not know which way it will go which could be a huge advantage in the West Indies," the New Zealand Herald quoted Wagner as saying.

"I am at my most dangerous when the ball has gone for long periods. I will play aggressively and try to bowl quickly because that is what they picked me for and how I play the game."

The 26-year-old Wagner topped the wicket-taking charts in New Zealand's first-class competition this season, snaring 46 victims at the impressive average of 26.32. The step up to test match cricket, however, will present him with a decidedly tougher task.

"In first-class cricket, it might take you 10 balls to knock someone over but, at this level, it could take three times longer so it is about being smart, patient and focusing on the mental aspects of your game," he added.

Otago coach Vaughn Johnson implored Wagner to maintain his thinking game, insisting that the ability to restrict the batsmen will prove as important as taking wickets.

"Neil will fancy his chances anywhere but as long as he keeps it simple and doesn't go searching too often. He is very aggressive and loves taking wickets but there is a process to bowling and part of that process is the ability to bowl dots," concluded Johnson.

"If you can bowl heavy deliveries and make sure the opposition aren't going anywhere you create your own pressure and give yourself opportunities to take wickets. You can't just go out and try and get a wicket every ball."

The first test gets underway at North Sound in Antigua on 25 July. Sabina Park in Jamaica will host the second and final match, which starts on 2 August. The teams will also play two T20Is and five ODIs.

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Wagner will bowl quickly and aggressively

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Wed Apr 23 08:51:05 SAST 2014 ::