Fast bowler Neil Wagner has made it clear the BLACKCAPS are more determined than ever to get back on level terms with the West Indies in the second Test.
The visitors will play their final match of the tour beginning Friday morning and are focussed on redemption after suffering a nine wicket loss in the first match in Antigua.
It was Wagner’s debut for New Zealand and certainly wasn’t how he envisioned his Test career beginning. The 26 year-old takes solace in the fact that he and the rest of his team mates don’t have to wait long to get a chance at redemption.
“It’s obviously not the ideal start,” admitted Wagner.
“In the first Test we weren’t at our best, but now we can go and rectify it and hopefully come out stronger.
“Knowing the boys and knowing how I play personally, we’ll definitely come out firing to win this Test.”
Many feel it will take a vast improvement from the BLACKCAPS to achieve this goal, but correcting some basic errors may be the simple solution needed.
Chris Gayle’s contribution was immense in the initial Test, scoring 150 in the first innings to set up a 181 lead for the West Indies. However had the dynamic opener not been dropped on 36 things could have been much different.
The same could be said about the BLACKCAPS batting line-up. In both innings players looked settled at the crease, before being dismissed at crucial moments.
Wagner acknowledges the importance of certain figures in the West Indies side, but insists there’s no point in swelling on dwelling on missed opportunities.
“We can’t go on what ifs, we’ve got to go out now and just do the job,” Wagner said.
“They rely a lot on their big players so if we can apply a bit of pressure on them then maybe it could be a different game. I know the boys will come out hard doing that.
“He (Gayle) doesn’t give you a lot of chances so when he does you’ve got to grab them. Hopefully if he gives us another sniff we’ll be able to capitalise on it.”
The BLACKCAPs are well aware what it will take to overcome their West Indian competition and evidently are desperate to do so.
By his own admission Wagner loves nothing more than ‘a bit of a battle.’ He can feel confident of one of those come the second Test.