Search

Cricket: Wagner relishing Cook reunion

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 March 2018

Neil Wagner and Alastair Cook celebrate a wicket for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Neil Wagner and Alastair Cook celebrate a wicket for Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Alastair Cook's friendly reunion with Essex team-mate Neil Wagner will have to be put on hold when the serious business of England's first Test with New Zealand starts in Auckland.

England’s national record run-scorer has already had a few convivial chats with Wagner about county championship-winning days together at Chelmsford et al.

But feisty left-armer Wagner has a job to do against his old chum at Eden Park, so the good humour will resume for the start of the new season when both will be lending a hand again as Essex set out to defend their Specsavers Division One title.

“It will be quite an interesting battle – then afterwards we can sit down, have a laugh and talk about it,” said Wagner, who has a high regard for Cook on and off the pitch.

“He’s a great lad - I loved spending time with him in the Essex changing-room.

“He’s a top man. There has been some funny banter between (us) even before this series got close, so I look forward to playing against him.”

England’s chances of arresting their miserable away form in Test cricket, and trying to banish memories of this winter’s 4-0 Ashes defeat, have been bolstered by Ben Stokes’ apparent return to full fitness.

Stokes was able to bowl as well as bat in the nets on Tuesday, without discomfort from his stiff back, and his return to Test cricket as England’s fully-fledged go-to all-rounder is on track again.

His presence will be a significant moment individually and for a team bereft of Stokes’ services for so much of the winter as he waited until the new year to hear he would be charged with affray after an alleged altercation outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

Craig Overton nonetheless remains on stand-by, as the extra seamer required if Stokes were only able to play as a specialist batsman after all.

As such, like Stokes, the Somerset bowler was preparing in the Auckland nets as if he will be involved in New Zealand’s inaugural day-night Test on Thursday.

“That’s always the aim,” said Overton. “You don’t know till the day before what the side is, so you’ve just got to prepare as if you’re going to play and hope you get the nod when it comes.”

The 23-year-old is back in contention after a cracked rib interrupted an encouraging start to his international career, in the second and third Ashes Tests.

“Obviously, it was frustrating after the injury in Perth, but you’ve got to bounce back from that,” said Overton.

After his debut in the day-night Test at Adelaide, he predicts exaggerated movement from the pink ball may again accelerate the contest here.

“You want to be bowling in that twilight period and at night with the new ball.

“You’ve seen in games already where captains have declared seven and eight down, and had a go to try to get three or four wickets that night.

“It’s going to happen at some point, and you’ve got to be prepared for that.”

Wagner disagrees. “There’s been a lot of talk about it, but I’ve not seen it do anything too much different,” he said, dispelling too any suggestion Joe Root’s tourists may be easy pickings after their Ashes humbling.

“Definitely not - if anything it could motivate them to come back stronger.

“England is a proud nation and (has) a quality cricket team, so I wouldn’t expect anything less than this being a really tough series.”

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 18:30

The club confirm Charlie Grainger, Alex Lawless, Charlie Lee and Jay Simpson will depart Brisbane Road on June 30th

Yesterday, 14:00

The attacking midfielder, who signed in January, impressed in the 1-0 loss at Wembley and has been backed for big things by Justin Edinburgh

Yesterday, 10:00

The midfielder made his final appearance for Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy final against AFC Fylde and paid tribute to the club

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Great Britain's women claimed their first home win in the FIH Pro League with a 2-0 success over Belgium.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Great Britain's women took a point following a penalty shoot-out loss to Argentina after a 1-1 draw on Saturday, while the men were edged out 3-2 by their rivals.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

We spoke to Leyton Orient academy graduate Josh Koroma for our Redemption pullout about the supporters and a key game for him and the team last season

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Josh Coulson is meant to be on his best friend Nathan's stag do this weekend but only has himself to blame for missing it

PROMOTED CONTENT

Victoria Park - or 'Vicky Park' as the locals know it - has been the setting for many important events over the years.​ Here, we take a look at its unique cultural history.

The team behind All Points East have put together a mouth-watering line-up of local food and drink traders who will be fuelling the festival in May.

Rock band Sleeping With Sirens will lead the show at All Points East festival this summer in Victoria Park.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists