New Zealand’s pacer Neil Wagner garnered oodles of praises for his incredible performance during the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan despite playing with two fractured toes.
During the first innings of New Zealand, Shaheen Afridi’s Yorker had left Wagner with two fractured toes. Surviving on painkilling shots, Wagner not only bowled for 21 overs and 28 seconds, but he also led his team towards victory by scalping four crucial wickets.
During a marathon 11-over spell, Wagner dismissed Fawad Alam, who had slammed a century, crushing Pakistan’s hopes of victory on the fifth day of the match.
His inspirational sportsmanship during the match garnered him respect and praises from his teammates and opponents alike. It was clearly his painstaking determination and willpower that was driving him throughout the match.
“I just told him he’s mad. He’s a different guy. His attitude is everything, his aggression is very beautiful,” Pakistan skipper Mohammad Rizwan commented on Wagner’s unbelievable stint in the match.
Pakistan’ batsman Azhar Ali was also in awe of Wagner’s performance. He said, “I said that to him — that’s what it means to play for your nation.
“I think he’s showing that and he’s an inspiration, everyone knows he’s got not one, but two, broken toes and he’s fighting for his team. He was giving 100 per cent and maybe more than that, so I have huge respect for him,” Azhar added.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, acknowledging Wagner’s match-winning performance, said, “It was very, very special from ‘Wags’, one the team appreciated. We needed him out there and he delivered.”
New Zealand secured the win by over Pakistan in the first Test by 101 runs. The second Test between the two teams will commence on January 3.