Wagner relishing Eden Park return

21 March 2018 06:23:35 EST

Neil Wagner's looking forward to another chance to face England at Eden Park, when New Zealand host their first pink-ball Test starting on Thursday.

The pace bowler will go into his 35th Test with memories of the last clash between the teams at the venue five years ago.

Just the history there, knowing that Richie McCaw and those guys were out there when they won the World Cup, it's a pretty special place - when you walk out there you get goosebumps.

Neil Wagner

England held on on the final afternoon to secure a draw in that match, in an exciting contest, with Wagner's other Eden Park Test yielding a win for the Black Caps over India.

The Test specialist isn't concerned about the odd-shaped ground in Auckland, where the straight boundaries are short.

"Just the history there, knowing that Richie McCaw and those guys were out there when they won the World Cup, it's a pretty special place - when you walk out there you get goosebumps," he said.

"It's a lovely place to play and I enjoy it, and the two Test matches I've had there, the England one [in 2013] was probably the most exciting Test match I've been involved with, so hopefully this can come close to that, and the Indian one [in 2014] was an awesome spectacle."

The South African-born bowler added: "It's a good wicket there, and it's obviously got its challenges with small boundaries, but you just have to adapt to that as soon as you can."

The Black Caps have confirmed that veteran batsman Ross Taylor will face England, after he passed a fitness test on his thigh.

Taylor's injury forced him out of the third and fifth ODIs against England but he scored 181 not out in the fourth game in Dunedin.

New Zealand are 9/4 to win the first Test, with England 7/5 and the draw 2/1.

Neil Wagner is 3/1 to be the Black Caps' top first innings bowler.

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