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Ross Taylor believes Wagner's retirement decision was forced

By Real11 - Mar 5 2024 105 Views
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Ross Taylor feels Neil Wagner's retirement decision was forced

New Zealand speedster Neil Wagner announced his retirement after finding out that he would not be included for the ongoing test series against Australia and former team mate and a legend of the game, Ross Taylor, believes the decision was “forced”. 

While responding to a question in a podcast about Wagner’s finger on the mouth celebration after removing Zubayr Hamza in his final Test match, against the Proteas in Hamilton, and a picture of him flicking the middle finger as the team got in a huddle to celebrate another wicket, Taylor said, “I think it all makes sense a little bit now. There's no sugarcoating it: I think it's a forced retirement. If you listen to Wagner's press conference, he was retiring, but it was after this last Test match [against Australia]. So he did make himself available."

Wagner was to be released from the squad after the opening test in Wellington. But an injury to William O’Rourke sparked talks of a possible recall for the next test in Christchurch. The kiwis didn’t go down the road though, choosing the uncapped pacer Ben Sears instead. 

“And to see that he isn't selected... I think you do need to plan for the future, but a one-off Test against Australia in a must-win situation, I wouldn't be looking much further than Neil Wagner. And I'm sure the Australian batters are sleeping easy that he's not in the side," Taylor said.

Aaron Finch, also on the podcast, stated Wagner would have probably stopped Australia from posting as big of a total as they did in their inaugural innings at the Basin Reserve, which laid down the foundation for the 172 run win.  

"I couldn't believe Neil Wagner wasn't in the XI. I just genuinely thought that he must have been out through a niggle," Finch said. "The success he's had against Australia, particularly [against] Steven Smith over a period of time, you can guarantee that the last wicket partnership wouldn't have happened if Wagner was there.

"Because he would have intimidated Josh Hazlewood at least. He might have stopped Cameron Green from scoring as well. I thought that was a really interesting decision," Finch said. 

Green and Hazlewood stitched a record 116 run partnership- the highest 10th wicket stand for Australia against the Black Caps- to power Australia from 267/9 to an impressive total of 383. 

"It's not only his experience and the way he goes about it, but you know, the opposition, you heard [Pat] Cummins talking about the plans that they had for him," Taylor said.

"Experience plays a lot, but no, I agree with Finchy. If he comes around the wicket to Hazlewood, he might have got him away for a couple of boundaries or even a six. But I think for the prolonged time he would have attacked him, I don't think they would have got a 100-run partnership."

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