Wagner all praise for Bangladesh batters
New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner has praised Bangladesh batters for the composed and gritty effort put in following the end of the second day's play of the first Test at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
The left-arm quick, who took both wickets as Bangladesh reached 175 for two after dismissing the hosts for 328, said the batsmen showed a lot of resolve in trying conditions.
"Full credit to the Bangladesh batsmen. They played really well. They showed a lot of patience. They showed a bit of fight. It is a tough graft out there. It is just a good days' hard and tough Test cricket," Wagner said at a post-day virtual press conference.
While Bangladesh are missing a number of senior players including Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal as well as the now-retired Mahmudullah Riyad, it was Mahmudul Hasan Joy (70*) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (64) who stepped up and took the charge to the opposition. Wagner was impressed with the batting.
"The younger guys today played phenomenally. I thought they played patiently. They didn't really give too many opportunities. They hung in there. They were prepared to dig in. They left the ball quite a lot. It made us ask more questions, and take wickets. It gave them the opportunity to score....I thought when the ball was there to be scored, they scored. They also left well and defended well," Wagner said.
The 35-year-old had proved to be a thorn in the side for Bangladesh in the past few bilateral series as well. While the other frontline pacers such as Tim Southee,Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson failed to have much impact, Wagner was his usual self – full of heart and effort, sending barrages of bouncers and maintaining a tight line and length.
He got the reward for his perseverance, taking two wickets for 27 runs in 16 overs. However, he felt the New Zealander could not put sustained pressure on the visitors.
"I think we fought really hard, but couldn't really string together enough to create pressure from both ends. Everyone tried really hard but it wasn't to be our day. But it is Test cricket: we have an opportunity tomorrow to fight harder, and get early wickets," Wagner said.