New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner on Monday said that the two-match test series against England is not going to be treated as warm-up games for the World Test Championship against India.
England & New Zealand will face each other in the two-match test series starting from June 2. The majority of the New Zealand test squad has already arrived in London on Sunday afternoon after flying from Auckland via Singapore. Tim Southee, BJ Watling, Ross Taylor, and Wagner departed from Auckland on Monday afternoon (NZ time) to join the squad in Southampton.
The Maldives-based IPL contingent of Captain Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, team physio Tommy Simsek and trainer Chris Donaldson will arrive on Monday in Southampton at the UK time.
“We’re not going to treat these two Test matches against England just as warm-ups for the WTC final. I know for a fact we’re going to get out there and pride ourselves the way we’ve been playing Test cricket and we want to win Test matches for New Zealand,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Neil Wagner as saying.
“It’s been quite nice, it’s obviously got different characteristics to the Kookaburra. The way we’ve been training for the last while is something we didn’t always have in the past, having the facilities and having a marquee up and getting trained before going to England. On tours in the past you rock up there and you’ve only got a couple of training and maybe one head out with the Dukes ball before the first Test and with that you can find yourself a little bit behind,” he added.
Speaking about the preparation of New Zealand’s team for the UK tour, Neil Wagner said, “But having had those little bits of training leading into it has been quite beneficial, just because it’s a little bit different, and obviously adapting to it. It’s been really good preparation and everybody is excited bowling with it.”
“Sometimes you have to control all that because there’s a high expectation of the ball doing a lot and moving around but sometimes you can get there and it can be quite flat and slow as well. The nice thing about it is we’ve got a wealth of experience and the guys have been there before so we can feed off each other and bounce ideas off each other as well,” he added.
The first test between England & New Zealand will now be played at Lord’s stadium. Speaking about the same Wagner said that he is happy that the tests will be played at the Lord’s stadium as he has played at Lord’s a couple of times & is aware of Lord’s weather & pitch conditions.
New Zealand Players & support staff were transferred from London Heathrow Airport to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton where they will stay for the first two weeks of the tour.