Neil Wagner believes that the team should continue the brand of cricket they played in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship to defend the title. Wagner further added that facing India at their home is a difficult task, but the New Zealand team is looking forward to the challenge.
New Zealand, who won the inaugural World Test Championship by defeating India in the final earlier this year, is all set to lock horns with the same opponents for a two-match Test series. The two-match Test series, which is a part of the second WTC cycle will begin on November 25 in Kanpur. Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson, who were rested for the ongoing T20I series against India, will be playing the Test series, whereas the hosts will miss the services of Virat Kohli for the Kanpur Test. India have also rested their regular wicket-keeper batsman, Rishabh Pant and trusted opener Rohit Sharma for the red-ball series against New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Neil Wagner has stated that New Zealand should give their best to defend the World Test Championship title.
"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,” said Wagner in a video shared by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).
"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.
"No-one can take it away from you. It's something that's pretty special and I'm still pretty proud of," he added.
Wagner has been away from competitive cricket for a long time and admitted that his preparation was not ideal in the build-up to the series.
"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," he stated..
Speaking on New Zealand's preparation ahead of the Test series, Wagner said that it is a tough challenge playing in India but forward to the challenge.
"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.