With Neil Wagner back, Kiwis may hit India with all-pace attack
Written by Sandip G
| Christchurch |

Published: February 26, 2020 9:06:06 pm


Neil Wagner, Neil Wagner catch, David Warner shocked, Best caught and bowled catches, best catches 2019, Australia vs New Zealand Perth Test, cricket news Neil Wagner has been one of many Kiwi bowling pillars within the final two years. (AP/File Photo)  

Less than 5 days after turning into a father, New Zealand bowling’s engine room Neil Wagner was soaking in fatherhood on Wednesday. He spoke of the calls for of paternity: “I had my phone consistently on Sky Go in the hospital, watching the boys and supporting from afar, and a couple of early mornings (watching on record) while doing the odd nappy change.” Then with a typical imply streak, he pressured: “Now back to business and getting back with the boys.”

Only that his return has put the workforce administration in a dilemma, as his substitute Kyle Jamieson loved a terrific all-round debut. So did his previous friends Trent Boult and Tim Southee and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, thus making his return difficult. Wagner, clearly, has been one of many Kiwi bowling pillars within the final two years and would slot himself into the eleven. “Neil Wagner will come back and he’s been a force in our team for a long time. He’ll be back with us without a doubt.” stated coach Gary Stead.

Cricket – New Zealand v India – First Test – Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand – February 24, 2020 New Zealand’s Tim Southee with teammates after the match REUTERS/Martin Hunter

The New Zealand coach has a sensible resolution: To play all 4 seamers, on the expense of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who bowled a mixed six overs in all the Wellington Test.

“I think we always consider those things. We’ll go down there, look at the wicket, we’re still three or four days out at this stage, so don’t want to make any assumptions before we get down there, but generally the wicket we play on at Hagley has a wee bit in it as well. We’ve seen in the past guys like Colin de Grandhomme can be useful in those conditions —think back to his debut against Pakistan, then it was useful conditions for him,” Stead identified.

It would have been completely different if Mitchell Santner was round, however contemplating that Ajaz is neither helpful with the bat nor thrifty with the ball, the pace-quartet technique appears logical. The resolution, Stead saved reiterating, would rely upon the character of the strip. The numbers at Hagley Oval are stacked closely in favour of seamers. Of the 92 wickets the house workforce has plucked, as many as 90 have been credited to them. Boult averages 21, Southee 20, Wagner 26, and de Grandhomme 25.

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At the identical time, the New Zealand spinners might cut price solely two wickets, although they tried 5 in six Tests they’ve performed on the venue. While it could possibly be a sign of New Zealand’s forte and the dearth of high quality spinners, the overwhelming success of the seamers does point out the standard traits of the pitch.

Two different numbers fortify this sample. First, visiting spinners too have massively struggled right here. Apart from Shakib al Hasan and Nathan Lyon, no spinner has managed three or extra wickets on this floor. No spinner options within the prime 15 wicket-takers. As considerably, six of the 24 innings have seen scores below 200, 9 below 300.

Though the strip tends to flatten out and enhance for batting because the match progresses, as a lot of the pitches within the nation do, the tempo of the match is normally determined within the first two days, when it does greater than a wee bit. Even within the final two days, the pitch doesn’t take a lot flip, and if in any respect there may be some, it could possibly be sluggish.

Kyle Jamieson batting, Tim Southee, Virat Kohli disappointed, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara sad, Trent Boult, India vs New Zealand 1st Test, IND vs NZ 1st Test, India tour of New Zealand 2020 Trent Boult celebrates Prithvi Shaw’s wicket within the first Test in Wellington. (Reuters)

So spinners are usually consigned restrictive duties, which suited Santner however not Patel, who was wayward within the Wellington Test. Patel performed within the final Test at Hagley as effectively, towards Sri Lanka in 2018, when he was unused within the first innings after which bowled 12 wicket-less overs within the second, whereas Sri Lanka’s spinners returned figures of 2-207 from 62 overs.

So moderately than play a redundant spinner for the sake of it, a pacer of Wagner’s or Jamieson’s high quality might add worth, furnishing New Zealand’s bowling unit with extra venom. Wagner might bouncer-barrage the Indians greater than his colleagues. He promised it too: “We will obviously continue what we had been doing in the series and make it tough for them. Here, there is obviously a bit more pace and bounce too.”

The different day, skipper Kane Williamson might solely sigh on the merciless irony of the second. “In Australia, most of them got injured. Now we have too many waiting to play.”

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