11 May 2017

Wagner keen for taste of ODI action

6:32 am on 11 May 2017

Black Caps seamer Neil Wagner says he's been reinvigorated by the prospect of picking up the white ball, rather than the red, for his country.

New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner in action during the first cricket test match against South Africa at the Sahara Cricket stadium in Durban.

New Zealand bowler Neil Wagner Photo: AFP

The South African-born paceman has played in 32 Tests for New Zealand since his 2012 debut, taking 130 wickets, but never been named in an ODI eleven.

That appears set to change this weekend when an understrength Black Caps take on Ireland in the first match of a pre-Champions Trophy tri-series in Dublin.

Bangladesh is the third side taking part in the tournament.

Without any of their Indian Premier League-playing stars, such as leading speedsters Trent Boult and Tim Southee, the 32-year-old Wagner is likely to lead the line against Ireland.

He has been playing county cricket for Essex since the side's final Test against South Africa in March, and feels ready to get back into the international bowling saddle - where he's likely to be joined by the likes of Scott Kuggeleijn, Seth Rance and Hamish Bennett.

Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi, meanwhile, will provide the spin.

"It's a little bit refreshing, in a sense - quite nice to do something else again, use different skills, freshen it up a little bit," Wagner said.

"If a chance comes, it comes - you try and make the most of it."

Playing both First Class and List A cricket in his time at Essex, Wagner said he'd been working hard on perfecting his bowling style for the 50-over format.

Yet, with 10 wickets to show in his last four List A games, Otago-based Wagner promised not to forfeit any of his trademark aggression.

"A fair change, trying to nail hole and death bowling, stuff like that, a few variations as well - quite an exciting part of the game," Wagner said.

"The nature of the game these days, you've got to be able to adapt to different wickets and styles of batsmen around the world."