Wagner: Australian batsmen one step ahead of New Zealand

Australia has been one step ahead of New Zealand in the second Test at Melbourne, according to bowler Neil Wagner who picked a four wickets in the innings

Neil Wagner (4-83) was the pick of New Zealand's bowlers, though he believes the tourists were unfortunate to find Paine and Head in such fine form.   -  Getty Images

Neil Wagner claimed it feels like Australia's batsmen have been a step ahead of New Zealand, but he does not believe the Black Caps need to rethink their approach.

Travis Head (114), Steve Smith (85) and Tim Paine (79) all made big scores as Australia took control of the second Test in Melbourne on day two, amassing 467 from its first innings.

Wagner (4-83) was the pick of New Zealand's bowlers, though he believes the tourists were unfortunate to find Paine and Head in such fine form.

ALSO READ|Boxing Day Test: Kiwis loses early wickets as Aus takes charge on Day two

The solution, according to Wagner, is for the bowling attack to attempt to sustain longer spells of pressure, rather than tear up its plans and start afresh heading into the third Test in Sydney.

"Pretty tough day. We put in a lot of hard work yesterday and were hoping for some rewards early doors and there wasn't any," Wagner told a news conference.

"We kept fighting and I think that's one of the personalities of this team, we kept giving everything. The opportunities didn't really always go our way.

ALSO READ| Tim Paine blasts DRS technology after controversial dismissal

"Finally, we created something, thought we might have a bit of a gap and then two guys [Head and Paine] came out and played really well. It's one of those things.

"Full credit to the Australian batsmen. They've almost been a step ahead of us in some ways. Showed a lot of patience, some clear plans and they kept doing that through the whole innings.

"Everybody knows we can bowl a lot of overs. It's one of our strengths as a bowling group, we can back it up. We might not be the quickest on the radar but we're some of the fittest bowlers around. That's all you can ask for.

"I think our plans are very good. We have a quality bowling line up. The amount of edges we've had that just didn't carry. It's a bit of luck you need sometimes.

ALSO READ| Aus vs NZ: Travis Head delighted with patient MCG ton

"I think we created the pressure and it just didn't happen. Sometimes it can be frustrating and you leak a couple of runs. I thought our plans were pretty good. 

"You've got to be ruthless against a quality batting line up. I guess you've got to be better for longer and you need a bit of luck and we didn't really have that."

New Zealand reached stumps at 44-2, with Tom Blundell (15) and captain Kane Williamson (9) losing their wickets.

  Dugout videos