Neil Wagner Becomes Second-Fastest New Zealand Bowler to Claim 200 Test Wickets
Hadlee had taken 44 Tests to reach the 200-wickets milestone, while Wagner reached the the feat in his 46th Test (86th innings), putting him in the top 20 fastest worldwide. © AFP

Left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner on Saturday became the second-fastest New Zealand bowler to claim 200 Test wickets after Richard Hadlee. The 33-year-old Wagner achieved the feat after dismissing Steve Smith in Australia’s second innings of the ongoing second Test being played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Hadlee had taken 44 Tests to reach the 200-wickets milestone, while Wagner reached the the feat in his 46th Test (86th innings), putting him in the top 20 fastest worldwide.

In third position comes Wagner’s teammate Trent Boult, who had scalped 200 wickets from 52 games. Tim Southee and former Kiwi all-rounder Chris Cairns had reached the milestone in their 56th and 58th match respectively.

The 33-year-old is also the second-fastest left-arm bowler to reach the milestone. India’s Ravindra Jadeja holds the distinction as he had taken 44 Tests to clinch 200 wickets.

Wagner currently tops the chart for leading wicket-takers in the ongoing series between Australia and New Zealand with 13 wickets which has propelled him to the third spot in the ICC Test Rankings.

The Black Caps are currently on the backfoot in the ongoing Boxing Day Test as Australia lead by 456 runs. The hosts were 137/4 in their second innings and are in total control of the game. They already lead the three-match series 1-0, having won the first Test in Perth by 296 runs.

Wagner will have to shoulder major chunk of the pace bowling department since spearhead Trent Boult fractured his non-bowling hand Saturday and will miss the third Test against Australia in a big blow for the Black Caps.

Boult was struck on the glove by a Mitchell Starc bouncer late in New Zealand’s first innings 148 on day three of the second Test in Melbourne. He needed medical attention but bowled in Australia’s second innings.