Eng vs NZ 2021 – Neil Wagner

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Says the opportunity to train with the Dukes ball even before leaving for England has been “quite beneficial”

New Zealand are not going to treat the two upcoming Tests against England as warm-ups for the World Test Championship final against India, fast bowler Neil Wagner has said. A majority of New Zealand’s Test contingent arrived in England on Sunday and Wagner was part of the second batch of players to leave Auckland on Monday.

“We’re not going to treat these two Test matches against England just as warm-ups [for the WTC final],” Wagner told reporters at the Auckland airport before his departure. “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.”

Wagner, the No. 3-ranked bowler in the ICC Test rankings, was among the Test players who got together in Lincoln for camps and training with the Dukes ball, which is used for Test matches in England, in the lead up to the tour. Wagner will be touring England as part of the New Zealand squad for the third time, although he played there only during the 2013 Test series, apart from his experience in the County Championship for Lancashire. Wagner said the opportunity to train with the Dukes ball even before leaving for England, unlike in the past, had been “quite beneficial”.