|Full name||Neil Wagner|
|Born||13 March 1986|
Pretoria, Transvaal Province, South Africa
|Test debut (cap 256)||25 July 2012 v West Indies|
|Last Test||8 March 2019 v Bangladesh|
|Domestic team information|
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 12 March 2018
Neil Wagner (born 13 March 1986) is a South African-born New Zealand Test cricketer who plays for New Zealand and Northern Districts cricket teams. He played for Northerns until 2007/08 and Otago between 2008 and 2018.
Wagner was born at Pretoria and attended Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool as a high school student where he played for the 1st team. He is a left-handed batsman and left-arm medium-fast bowler who toured Zimbabwe and Bangladesh with South African Academy sides and was twelfth man in two Test matches for South Africa. In 2008, he moved to New Zealand to pursue a career playing Test cricket. In June 2009 he was awarded a place in the New Zealand Emerging Players team under Peter Fulton, and eventually made his test debut for New Zealand against the West Indies in 2012. He has since played in more than 30 Test matches for New Zealand.
On 6 April 2011 Wagner took four wickets in four balls against Wellington when he dismissed Stewart Rhodes, Joe Austin-Smellie, Jeetan Patel and Ili Tugaga. He then took the wicket of Mark Gillespie with the sixth ball of the same over: five wickets in one 6-ball over, the first (and, so far, only) time this has been achieved in first-class cricket. His bowling figures for the innings were 6/36, his personal best at that time.
After an uneven start to his test career against the West Indies and his birth country South Africa, Wagner established himself as a reliable 3rd seamer for New Zealand side during their 2013 home and away series against England, taking 19 wickets in 5 tests. Wagner produced consistent performances over the next 2 years (including a man of the match 8 wicket haul against India at Eden Park, that set up a series victory). Despite this, he struggled to maintain his place in the side and was not selected in either of New Zealand's 2 tests against England in 2015.
Wagner returned to the side during Sri Lanka's tour for New Zealand in late 2015. He produced a series of strong performances, as New Zealand comfortably won the series. Skipper Brendon McCullum described Wagner before the Test as his "Workhorse".
The performances earned him another call-up for the second test against Australia. Wagner bowled well, taking 7 wickets including 6 wickets in the first innings. Since then, Wagner has become a regular starter in the New Zealand test side.
Wagner continued his fine form during New Zealand's tour of Zimbabwe in 2016, where he won the player of the series award. He took 11 wickets in the two match series, including a five wicket haul in the first test. New Zealand then toured Wagner's homeland of South Africa. In the second Test, while New Zealand were soundly beaten Wagner again led the attack, taking his fourth five wicket bag.
On 1 December 2017, Wagner became the opening partner to Trent Boult as Tim Southee was injured, and claimed his best figures of 7/39, which is also a New Zealand record to claim 7/39 within a day, and within two sessions of play.
In May 2018, he was one of twenty players to be awarded a new contract for the 2018–19 season by New Zealand Cricket. In November 2018, in the second match against Pakistan, he took his 150th Test wicket.
In test cricket he bowls long spells with the older ball, relying on short deliveries and dogged adherence to plans to pick up wickets, even in wickets that are 'two-paced' and in pitches where it offers no swing or seam movement for bowlers, where he would bowl shorter than other pace bowlers to bounce the batsmen out. In domestic cricket he plays as an opening swing bowler.
- "Otago v Wellington at Queenstown, Apr 4–6, 2011 | Cricket Scorecard". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
- "Fulton to lead New Zealand Emerging Players". ESPNcricinfo. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- on YouTube
- "When workhorse Wagner brought down the barn door". ESPNcricinfo. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Wagner called in as cover for injured Southee". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Zimbabwe on the back foot before a ball bowled". ESPNcricinfo. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Homecoming for 'fully converted Kiwi' Neil Wagner". ESPNcricinfo. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "New Zealand tour of South Africa, 2nd Test: South Africa v New Zealand at Centurion, Aug 27–31, 2016". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Latham to lead NZ in Ireland, uncapped Rance in squad". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "NZ 85/2 (37.0 ov, LRPL Taylor 12*, JA Raval 29*, ST Gabriel 0/22) - Live | Match Summary | ESPNCricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- "Todd Astle bags his first New Zealand contract". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "Tea Report: Neil Wagner completes 150 wickets after Pakistan take lead". Cricket Country. Retrieved 17 November 2018.