New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner said his five wickets were the just reward for the hard work he put in, especially bowling short deliveries and putting in a lot of effort into his overs, after getting Bangladesh bowled out cheaply on a decent wicket to bat on on the first day of the Hamilton Test.
A Test specialist, Wagner known for giving it his all when playing for New Zealand, and is regarded one of the best exponents of short deliveries. Bangladesh came to know of his potency with the short stuff during their last tour to the country four years ago. But it seemed the Tigers learned little from their previous experience as many of them fell to short-pitched stuff.
Wagner was happy to fill his kitty of wickets. “Not only against Bangladesh, but I think throughout my Test career this [short ball/bouncer] has been a successful ploy for me,” the left-armer said after the day’s play. “It is tough doing it, not easy on the body as you have to put ion a lot of effort. But the credit to the guys, the catching was phenomenal on a big blue sky like that with a bit of wind. It takes some serious catching. Pleasing that it came off today.”
Despite getting five wickets for 47 runs, Wagner felt he and the other bowlers had to really work hard for the wickets, not because all the Bangladeshi batsmen played very well, rather due to the fact that the wicket was pretty decent to bat on.
“The wicket played a lot better than we thought it would. There wasn’t as much movement, but it shows the quality of the group to assess that and get ourselves back in the game. I thought we did it really well and got the rewards for it,” Wagner said.
The 32-year-old Test specialist, however, heaped praise on Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal for his quality knock. “Tamim Iqbal batted extremely well. For him to come on a day when we thought the ball’s gonna go around and do a little bit, to hit us off our lengths shows the quality of the player and how well he played,” Wagner said.
“[In the latter spells]We tried to get the ball away from him a little bit. He played some glorious shots through the covers and square of the wicket so we knew we had to change our plan and try dot him up. Putting a lot of pressure and getting him off strike. We got our rewards for it,” Wagner said of the team’s strategy after Tamim had got off to a flying start.