Ross Taylor shockingly admits to Neil Wagner announcing a forced retirement

Published - 05 Mar 2024, 04:50 PM

Neil Wagner and Tim Southee
Neil Wagner and Tim Southee (image Credits: Twitter)

Former New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor made a shocking revelation about veteran pacer Neil Wagner’s retirement ahead of the second Test against Australia. Ross Taylor mentioned that Neil Wagner was forced to retire from international cricket by team management.

Neil Wagner announced his retirement before the start of the first Test in Wellington. The left-arm pacer decided after team management informed him that he would not be part of the playing XI. They opted for Will O’Rourke and Scott Kuggeleijn over Wagner.

Couldn’t Believe Neil Wagner Wasn’t In The XI – Aaron Finch

Speaking on ESPN’s Around the Wicket podcast, former Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch expressed surprise at Wagner’s absence in the XI. Finch highlighted Wagner’s success against Australia, adding that his absence impacted the game’s outcome.

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

“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.”

Cameron Green and Josh Hazlewood formed a 116-run partnership for the last wicket in Australia’s first innings. The duo helped the team reach a competitive total of 383 runs. Green remained unbeaten on 174 runs off 275 deliveries, including 23 fours and 5 sixes.

The partnership between Green and Hazlewood had a significant impact on the game. The visitors bowled out the opposition team for 179 runs. The Pat Cummins-led side secured a 172-run victory and took an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.

Don’t Think They Would Have Got A 100-Run Partnership – Ross Taylor

During the same discussion, Ross Taylor concurred with Finch’s analysis regarding Neil Wagner’s potential impact on the match outcome. Taylor mentioned that Wagner could have broken the stand between Green and Hazlewood earlier than it occurred.

“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. So he did make himself available,” said Taylor.

“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 for, I don’t think they would have got a 100-run partnership,” he added.

During the recent match, Will O’Rourke sustained an injury, sparking speculation about a potential return for Neil Wagner from retirement. However, these speculations were short-lived, as New Zealand selectors named Ben Sears as O’Rourke’s replacement.

The second and final Test match between New Zealand and Australia will commence on Friday, March 8, at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Also read: “World’s shortest retirement” – Pat Cummins mocks New Zealand over retired Neil Wagner’s possible recall

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Aaron Finch Australia National Cricket Team ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 Neil Wagner New Zealand national cricket team Ross Taylor