Neil Wagner puts zip into Black Caps attack
Black Caps veteran Chris Martin has applauded the "aggression" of debutant Neil Wagner, who took his first test wicket against the West Indies in Antigua yesterday.
Wagner claimed the scalp of Kieran Powell, when the opener went after a wide delivery and was caught behind on 134.
Powell had earlier combined with Chris Gayle (150) to notch up an opening wicket partnership of 254, West Indies' second-best first-wicket stand against New Zealand.
While it was a long day in the field for the Black Caps, with the hosts heading to stumps at 442-6 with a 91-run lead, Martin was impressed with the work ethic and fire of Wagner.
The South African-born left-arm seamer ended with figures of 1-103 off his 28 overs, but was consistent with his length and reached speeds of up to 137km/h.
Martin said Wagner's aggression will be a huge benefit for the Black Caps moving forward.
"Waggy stuck it in there and didn't get too competitive with the short ball and got his victim, so definitely many more to come," Martin said.
"One that we've probably lacked a little over the years as far as in-your-face aggression. It's good to back him up and gets the boys fired up.
"I think at times Waggy's going to bring the worst out of people, which is definitely what we need." Martin claimed the scalps of Marlon Samuels (29) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (0) in consecutive deliveries, and ended with 2-109.
With a few cracks beginning to appear on the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium wicket, spin will become a huge factor.
Martin said the Black Caps batsman must employ the same mindset as their opponents if they are to flourish.
"If you apply yourself and dispatch the bad ball, as they have, it's not bad going, especially against the seamers," he said.
"I think [offspinner Sunil] Narine will be a tougher proposition at times out of the footmarks, but we just need to limit the damage with the ball and get stuck in with the bat."
Sunday Star Times