New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner wants the Kiwis to play their best game in order to defend the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) title.
New Zealand had defeated India earlier this year to clinch the inaugural WTC final and Wagner wants the Kiwis to keep playing the same brand of cricket to make it to the final of the showpiece event.
“No-one can take it away from you. It’s something that’s pretty special and I’m still pretty proud of,” said Wagner in a video shared by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).
“I guess the main thing for us now is to put our heads down, and try and defend it, give ourselves the best chance to play the cricket we’ve been playing – the brand we’ve been playing – and make New Zealanders proud
“Whatever the result is, as long as we leave everything out there and give it our best, give it our all and play the way we play, the rest will take care of itself.
“Hopefully, things can unfold our way, but yeah pretty confident that the crew we’ve got here is ready to get stuck in and put their hand up,” he added.
India and New Zealand will lock horns in the two-match Test series which gets underway from Thursday. The Test series is part of the second WTC cycle.
Wagner admitted that he lacks match practice but is looking forward to playing Tests in Indian conditions.
“Not the ideal preparation leading in, with COVID around at home, I haven’t been able to play any domestic cricket leading up to it. It’s a little frustrating, but it’s one of those uncontrollable factors. For now, it’s quite nice to actually hit the ground running,” said Wagner.
“It’s just about adapting to the heat, obviously trying to stay dry as much as you can and knowing that the ball’s not going to swing for very long.
“You’ve got to be quite tight on your lines and heavy on those lengths, be quite ruthless. Like I said the margin of error is quite small.
“It is a tough place to play, but I think everyone’s looking forward to that challenge – which is tough over here, it’s called test cricket,” he signed off.
India and New Zealand will lock horns in the third T20I on Sunday and after this, the two teams meet in the first Test which starts from Thursday.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.