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Pakistan are a dangerous side with class players: Neil Wagner

New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner is cautiously optimistic ahead of the two-match Test series against Pakistan

Pakistan are a dangerous side with class players: Neil Wagner PHOTO: Reuters

New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner is cautiously optimistic ahead of the two-match Test series against Pakistan, starting with the Boxing Day match on December 26 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

The 34-year-old has featured in 50 Tests, taking 215 wickets at an average of 26.33, and is an important part of New Zealand bowling armoury.

“Pakistan are a dangerous side with class players throughout their lineup — so we know we’ll have to be at the top of our game,” Wagner was quoted as saying in a press release issued by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).  

“It doesn’t get much bigger than a Boxing Day Test on your home ground,” the world’s third-ranked Test bowler added. “The community has really got behind Bay Oval and to see a bumper crowd there on Boxing Day will be pretty special as a local player.”

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Following consecutive two-nil series wins over the West Indies this month and India earlier this year, the Black Caps are third, behind India, on the World Test Championship (WTC) points table.

A series sweep against Pakistan and a heavy defeat for India in Australia would significantly improve New Zealand’s chances of qualifying for the WTC final.

“The Test team have played some really good cricket of late and to have an opportunity to push for a World Test Championship Final is truly exciting,” he concluded.