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Neil Wagner Retires

jcas0167

International Debutant
I forgot how Wagner gave Smith problems on that 2019/20 tour. Dismissed him 4 times in the first two tests. Overall average against Smith was 16, the lowest of any bowler who has got Smith out 3 times or more in tests. No wonder Aus media was interested in that rematch.


 

Ali TT

International Debutant
Congratulations to him on an outstanding career

His figures are seriously good
Yes, and it's not as if recent News Zealand wickets after renowned for being spicy. He had to extract every mm of extra bounce and be bang on with line and length to be effective.
 

Flem274*

123/5
I don't think Wagner's method being successful is surprising, it is the method being possible that is.

Conventional wisdom dictates the bouncer trap deal pretty succintly - it is awful to face even from a fast medium if it is accurate, but no bowler can keep it up for long. 6 overs absolute max. Beyond that point, the bowler is gassed and the batsman can repay him with interest.

Wagner changed the terms of engagement. If a bowler could pull such a stunt for an entire session or more, very few batsmen would have the endurance to consistently make good decisions. He pushed the boundaries of bowler fitness beyond the currently understood limits, and leant into this by making sure the batsman knew all about it. It wasn't just the constant chat, this is the guy who did press ups in front of a batsman mid-stupid long spell on a typical Perth afternoon to show Australia he was far from done.

His success was also down to having Plan B, he just didn't need it since 2014 or so. He has a good slower ball which stops and gets a lot of takes at short cover, and he reintroduced his swing bowling to ensure he didn't get dropped right before the WTC in England.

He was such an engine, even in a statistically quiet series. Many of our overseas wins in Asia were in no small part due to him. The classic subcontinent tactic against SENA in Asia is see off the good pacers because they will only bowl short and infrequent spells, then put the average spinners under the pump, then force the opposition to overbowl the pacers to regain some control and destroy them too.

Neil Wagner: "But what if I could bowl endless overs in the subcontinent heat?"

Well then, I guess it means NZ can rotate their spinners and more easily hide one on a bad day.

I could post about him all day. I should just put him on the hub where he belongs.
 

Molehill

International Captain
Yes, and it's not as if recent News Zealand wickets after renowned for being spicy. He had to extract every mm of extra bounce and be bang on with line and length to be effective.
He extracted a lot of bounce with that one which flew about a metre over Anderson's head a year ago today!!
 

NZTailender

I can't believe I ate the whole thing
I don't think Wagner's method being successful is surprising, it is the method being possible that is.

Conventional wisdom dictates the bouncer trap deal pretty succintly - it is awful to face even from a fast medium if it is accurate, but no bowler can keep it up for long. 6 overs absolute max. Beyond that point, the bowler is gassed and the batsman can repay him with interest.

Wagner changed the terms of engagement. If a bowler could pull such a stunt for an entire session or more, very few batsmen would have the endurance to consistently make good decisions. He pushed the boundaries of bowler fitness beyond the currently understood limits, and leant into this by making sure the batsman knew all about it. It wasn't just the constant chat, this is the guy who did press ups in front of a batsman mid-stupid long spell on a typical Perth afternoon to show Australia he was far from done.

His success was also down to having Plan B, he just didn't need it since 2014 or so. He has a good slower ball which stops and gets a lot of takes at short cover, and he reintroduced his swing bowling to ensure he didn't get dropped right before the WTC in England.

He was such an engine, even in a statistically quiet series. Many of our overseas wins in Asia were in no small part due to him. The classic subcontinent tactic against SENA in Asia is see off the good pacers because they will only bowl short and infrequent spells, then put the average spinners under the pump, then force the opposition to overbowl the pacers to regain some control and destroy them too.

Neil Wagner: "But what if I could bowl endless overs in the subcontinent heat?"

Well then, I guess it means NZ can rotate their spinners and more easily hide one on a bad day.

I could post about him all day. I should just put him on the hub where he belongs.
What doesn't get talked about enough is his subtle use of the crease, especially around the wicket. He's probably the best exponent I've ever seen of changing angles of attack through his crease position without making it to obvious to the batsman
 

Flametree

International 12th Man
What doesn't get talked about enough is his subtle use of the crease, especially around the wicket. He's probably the best exponent I've ever seen of changing angles of attack through his crease position without making it to obvious to the batsman
Felt like he'd bowl back foot no-balls every time in some spells but just managed to stay inside....

It does sound a bit condescending but he really did get the most out of his fairly limited range talents. There were days when he was a legit very good left-arm quick/swing bowler, but they weren't that frequent and CW members often commented on his seam presentation wrecking the shine of the new ball. I'd put the likes of Cairns, Nash, Doull ahead of him in skill, but Wagner was reliably fit and lasted longer than all of them...
 

Jezroy

State Captain
Hard to say if either of these are true, but two things I have heard over the last couple of days - one surprising and one not.

Not surprising - Boult and Southee would get really frustrated with Wags because of the way he bowled, and that it was really hard to look after the ball and keep it in good condition when someone’s banging it in short over and over (not even sure how true that is?). It effectively made it much harder for them to bowl with the older ball BUT when he was getting wickets, they’d kind of just go “ah well” and do their job with the newer ball.

Surprising - a friend of mine heard from one of the sponsors pre-announcement that Wags was going to retire, and that it was because he’d pissed off Southee at the Mount. I found this weird because I’d heard they got on well… but the fact he heard it BEFORE the announcement came out added some weight to it for me. I really hope that’s not true, otherwise Wags is an even better guy than I gave him credit for - bowling in the nets and staying with the squad at the Basin with that going on…

Saying all that - I think it’s time to move on from both Wags and Southee. The fact O’Rourke looked so much more threatening against South Africa D in his first test, and how much more threatening Henry looks than Timmeh… I just think it’s time to build a new bowling attack around those two, and take KJ when you can get him.
 

Athlai

Not Terrible
Wagner did probably make it harder for Boult/Southee to get revese swing with an older ball, but I'm pretty sure that was a rare occurrence even when he wasn't in the team
 

NZTailender

I can't believe I ate the whole thing
Wagner did probably make it harder for Boult/Southee to get revese swing with an older ball, but I'm pretty sure that was a rare occurrence even when he wasn't in the team
In the 40 matches they played together they all averaged 25 with the ball.

In the games southee and Boult did play since wags debut, but without him, their averages jump to 30/31. So they benefitted from his mistreatment of the ball overall (or more so from Wagner in general).
 

Bahnz

Hall of Fame Member
In the 40 matches they played together they all averaged 25 with the ball.

In the games southee and Boult did play since wags debut, but without him, their averages jump to 30/31. So they benefitted from his mistreatment of the ball overall (or more so from Wagner in general).
Yeah, having fresh batsmen at the crease when the 2nd new ball is taken matters a lot more for guys like Southee and Boult than having the first ball kept in slightly better shape while the opposition runs up 160/0 between overs 41-80.
 

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