Cricket

Neil Wagner: WTC final against India will be like World Cup final for me


New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner has said that the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final against India would be like a World Cup title clash for him as he has never played a white-ball game for his country.

“Yeah, it is like a World Cup final for me. The biggest disappointment, I guess, in my career is that I’ve never really played a white-ball game for New Zealand or never been able to crack into the T20 or the one-day game,” Wagner said to ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

“That ship has probably sailed now, and I don’t think the opportunity will ever come. For me now, it’s about putting all my focus and energy into Test cricket and to be able to play in a World Test Championship final is like a World Cup for me,” the 35-year-old added.

In March, India’s leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin spoke on similar lines, saying the WTC final will be like a World Cup final for players who have not often featured in limited-overs cricket.

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The New Zealanders are already in England, preparing for a two-match Test series against the host, and though Wagner was looking forward to playing in the WTC final, he said he didn’t want the occasion to get the better of him.

“I know this final is the first, and there isn’t a lot of history around it, but it’s the start of something pretty big.

“To play in a one-off Test final against India – one of the best teams in the world, if not the best team in the world – to be able to test yourself against the best on the highest and biggest stage, that’s what it’s about.

“It’s extremely exciting, but I don’t want to think too far ahead. Don’t want to let the occasion get to you, just treat it like another Test match and do the same things you do. It’s going to be a special occasion. That’s for sure,” the Kiwi said.



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