India in New Zealand 2013-14 February 12, 2014

Southee praises 'unnoticed' Wagner


Tim Southee is happy about the accolades that came fellow fast bowler Neil Wagner's way after his match-winning performance in the Auckland Test against India.

Wagner has often been the workhorse wheeling away in the background while strike bowlers Southee and Trent Boult share the limelight, but at Eden Park, Wagner dismissed several key batsmen on his way to a match haul of eight wickets. Southee was glad that the role played by a key component of an increasingly productive attack was being acknowledged.

"It is pleasing to see Wags finally get some credit for the hard work he's done over the past few years," Southee said. "I think a lot of it goes unnoticed, not unnoticed by the team, but unnoticed by people watching and probably outside. He does a hell of a job for us and it was pleasing to see him do so well and reap some rewards.

"He complements myself and Trent very well. He loves bowling with the old ball and somehow he manages to pick up wickets just before the second new ball and that makes it easier for myself and Trent to come in where there's two new batsmen around with the second new ball."

The trio of Southee, Boult and Wagner have been bowling New Zealand to Test wins throughout this home summer. There were successive ones against West Indies in Wellington and Hamilton before the Auckland thriller against India. Southee was proud of this grouping and the way they were progressing.

"It is nice to have an attack where you can take 20 wickets. We have over the last few Test matches. We have shown a lot of promise over the last year, year and a half and we keep continuing to improve. It is good," Southee said. "We all complement each other very well. We are forming a good partnership and hopefully we can keep that going in the direction it is."

The Indian batsmen had not been allowed to get away as the New Zealand quicks executed their plans to perfection. This was the reason for the hosts' success, Southee said.

"I think the way we bowled as a group, I think we kept the pressure on and bowled in partnerships and as you saw the wickets were shared around between the three of us. That shows you that we never really gave them a let-off. There was always someone who was coming hard at different times.

"They are quality players and you just have to up your game. It becomes a game of patience and sort of who falls first. Little bit of movement off the deck helps as well. The new ball always helps and taking regular wickets and getting batsmen out there and not giving them a chance to settle goes a massive way to creating that pressure.

"We have put a lot of thought, and research goes into plans before the series. It is pleasing to see them come off. Shane (Bond) and the computer analysts and Mike Hesson, they put these plans in and it is a reward for them to see the bowlers sticking to them and the success we are having. It is the consistency we are bowling with and the familiar conditions we are used to."

While the Indians no longer had the big batting names of recent years, they came back from a disappointing first innings in Auckland to make 366 in the chase, falling short by 40 runs. Southee said India had a promising line-up, and that New Zealand were expecting a stiff contest in Wellington.

"They don't have the names like the Tendulkars, the Dravids and the Laxmans but they have got the potential to be great players. It is the first time to New Zealand for a few of those players and foreign conditions for them. We have bowled well as a unit and it has put pressure on their batters.

"They have obviously had a disappointing tour and are too good a side to roll over. They'll come hard and they will want to have a win on the tour. They are a far better side than they have shown on this tour so far. They have a lot to prove in this last Test and have a got a lot of quality players and I am sure we are going to have to up our game. They'll come out and hopefully look to finish their tour on a high. Hopefully we can keep them winless on their trip to New Zealand."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Abhijeth on February 13, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    New Zealand have an amazing team now and look very exciting to watch over the next coming years. Consistently winning teams have a good crop of bowlers who understand each other and bowl in tandem to plans for particular batsmen. That is exactly what the NZ bowlers have done and full credit to them.

    India will look to come out guns blazing and try to win this one at all costs. Winning the last match of the tour is important because that remains fresh in the minds of the fans and might just buy Dhoni and his band of misfits some breathing time. So in hindsight this will be a good test match for the fans.

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    Shaun Price isnt Andy Flower a Zimbabwean? He may have been born in SA but he was raised in Zim and farmed there etc, I suspect hes a very proud Zim rather than SA

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    I always rated Wagner because hes so keen and must keep the other bowlers on task by his example, Southee and Boult werent quite so good in the 2nd innings, few loose balls but the delivery that surprised Kohli was very good, wether he nicked it or not it was good bowling that surprised a top batsman and he was bowling a good tight line before that. Good to see the bowling attack using their heads throughout the match, be great if Boult can get his pace back up to around 140kms like vs England

  • Beau on February 13, 2014, 0:17 GMT

    @Shaun Price: Watling left SA at 12 y/o, Botha has played heaps of ODIs for SA, both Jarvis and Ballance are Zimbabwean. Not sure how these guys were 'forced out' by CSA. I don't recognise too many other names except for Trott and KP, who haven't exactly been setting the world afire or winning games (or, indeed, even playing for their chosen country) of late.

    But yeah, Wagner's been pretty good lately while copping a bit of undeserved flack and questioning of his selection. It's not like it's been a huge injustice though, he's just been outshone by his fellow seamers. Southee has turned some kind of corner in the last two years, and regularly turns out spells that grab everyone's attention. Then you have Boult, who has gone from strength to strength since his debut and is just one of those bowlers who always looks a chance.

    Seems like Wagner has the support of team and management though, which is all that matters. More of the same at W'lgton from Southee, Boult, and Wagner please!

  • Dummy4 on February 13, 2014, 0:17 GMT

    @Nero28 Lighten up mate. Yes the ball to dismiss Kohli was lucky, but his next one to dismiss Dhawan was arguably the ball of the match, he bowled another peach to dismiss Zaheer and then baffled Dhoni. I would rather have a bowler who goes for a few but takes wickets, than an economical bowler who otherwise doesn't trouble batsmen...

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 23:28 GMT

    You a bit mad there Nero28?

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    @Nero28 you truly are incredibly ignorant, yes he went for runs as he was attacking. Cant you just admit your team is getting flogged and admit the kiwis are a better side, betters batsmen...better bowlers...and most definately a better fielding unit all round....not to mention your captain is rubbish.

  • Nero on February 12, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Enough article on Wagner. He got all the wicket in 2nd innings by some poor delivery and was most expensive in the pace attack.

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Glad to see South Africans (marginalised in their own country) doing well elsewhere. School cricket in SA requires 50% of team selected by politics. ( I don't blame the politics because of previous laws) but it does mean a lot of good merit players fall away. Playing 2nd XI at school means "you give up" nobody goes out (girls) with 2nd teamers How about this SA/Zim players forced out team. K Jennings, J Myburgh, J Trott, K Pietersen, G Ballance, W Madsen, Watling(W) J.Botha, A Hall, N Wagner, K, Jarvis, Anybody out there like to add to this selection. Manager/Coach A Flower.

  • Dummy4 on February 12, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    He does get overlooked a lot, so good on Southee for letting us all know!

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