Wagner makes Warner his man like Smith

Scott Bailey
New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner has been a shining light in a disappointing tour for the Kiwis

Neil Wagner has caused David Warner as much trouble as he has Steve Smith this summer after taking 8-53 against the big-name pair this tour.

Wagner will head into his last bowling innings of the tour at the SCG having removed both of Australia's stars four times in five innings at an average of 6.62.

He now has marginally better figures against Warner than Smith, having taken 4-26 against the Australian opener and 4-27 against Smith.

Warner's dismissals have however been far more varied than Smith's.

Wagner had him caught-and-bowled to a one-handed beauty in Perth, edging off once and then out caught at both leg gully and cover.

For Smith meanwhile, New Zealand's plan has been as much about drying up his run-scoring with short balls as it has bouncing him out.

With fields set to have him caught on the hook and pull, Smith's strike-rate of 34.13 in the Trans-Tasman Trophy is by far the lowest in his career.

He ducked under bouncers from Wagner 11 times on Friday, and attempted to pull him just twice in a successful bid to outlast his bouncer barrage.

Wagner has now bowled 26.3 overs against Smith this summer, for the equivalent of going at just one an over.

"You want to bowl your best at him and dry him up," Wagner explained earlier this summer.

"We've bowled really well to him, didn't give him any width, or any room to score, try and dot him up and hopefully he would come at us.

"It's summing up the field, trying to create the opportunity and luckily it's worked out."

Smith has three times been caught on the pull shot - albeit twice chasing quick runs - and once at gully from a brute of a bouncer.

His dismissal to Colin de Grandhomme at first slip on day one in Sydney marked the first time in his last six innings against New Zealand he has not fallen to Wagner.