articles by Michael Wagener

Sports

After months of turmoil, a new normal appears to be on the horizon for New Zealand's sporting landscape

With a new player in the TV market, no Radio Sport and the growth of streaming media, the way that New Zealand consumes sport is likely to change

First Cricket News

Coronavirus pandemic: In an empty stadium, Australia vs New Zealand ODI resembles match in the park on a Sunday

As the match drew on, it became clear that the crowd adds much more to the spectacle of the game on TV than I had ever realised

First Cricket News

How and why touring sides find it almost impossible to overcome home advantage in Test cricket

When a great side like the current Indian one loses away, there is always a tendency for people to say 'well they are not that great after all' but winning away in Test cricket is remarkably difficult, and any time a team does it, it should be celebrated as a genuine achievement.

First Cricket News

India vs New Zealand: 'Domestic overhaul, standarised pitches, unique skills', how Black Caps became formidable force at home

The New Zealand way of playing does not always look threatening, but in New Zealand, it can be deadly.

First Cricket News

India vs New Zealand: With contrasting skills on display, Trent Boult, Tim Southee add another feather in storied complementary partnership

Trent Boult and Tim Southee combine their different skills to perfectly complement each other, to great effect.

First Cricket News

India vs New Zealand: Why Mitchell Santner’s omission from Black Caps squad for home Tests is baffling

Santner has the second best average of any New Zealand spin bowler in the country to have bowled at least 100 overs in the past 50 years. He also has the second best economy rate (minimum: 200 overs.) As a result, New Zealand have never lost a home match featuring Santner, and have only had three rain-affected draws.

First Cricket News

India vs New Zealand: Ross Taylor goes big in an innings that may reverberate well beyond the Seddon Park fence

The effect of Ross Taylor’s continued good form has been that there is now a hero for young Pacific Island cricketers

First Cricket News

India vs New Zealand: Five stages of Black Caps fan struggling to get through Super Over Syndrome

A couple of Super Over victories would certainly help deal with BSOS (Black Caps Super Over Syndrome), that is likely to rear its ugly head once again.

First Cricket News

Australia vs New Zealand: Kiwis' strong reputation left in tatters after being swept away by relentless hosts

Australia exposed New Zealand's weaknesses, forcing the team to head back across the Tasman with their reputation in tatters.

First Cricket News

Australia vs New Zealand: Aussies dismantled Kiwis by wearing them down as visitors failed in adjusting to difficult conditions

Australia captain Tim Paine delivered a masterclass in captaincy. It can be easy to see an opponent being uncomfortable and get too aggressive. Instead Paine played the long game, and played it brilliantly.

First Cricket News

Australia vs New Zealand: Hot favourites Tim Paine and Co expected to continue winning run but Kiwis not an 'average' Test side anymore

Home advantage is massive in Test cricket. However, this New Zealand side has started to show an ability to overcome adverse conditions and find a way to be successful.

First Cricket News

New Zealand vs England: Supposedly 'meaningless' series threw up some interesting questions and equally intriguing answers

Before the coin was tossed at the start of the first match, there were a number of questions that the New Zealand vs England series was supposed to answer. It answered some but created almost as many new questions as it answered.

First Cricket News

New Zealand vs England: Tom Latham's century re-ignites the debate if he is the best opener in the world

Latham has not only seen off the new ball well, though. He's also made the most of his opportunities once he's in. Once he has reached 30, he has gone on to score a century roughly one third of the time. He averages an extra 66.09 once he makes it to 30.

First Cricket News

New Zealand vs England: Joe Root and Co caught in two minds as Kiwis show importance of clear thinking

New Zealand played better cricket and deserved the win. But the key difference was the decision making. The Kiwis had clear batting and bowling plans, and they were generally effective.

First Cricket News

From being born a short trip apart in South Africa to a short trip apart in the antipodes, BJ Watling and Marnus Labuschagne share similar journey to Test success

Two players born fairly close together in one country, brought up in foreign lands and both developed the mental strength combined with technical skill to enable them to represent their adopted nations. Both scored big centuries on the same day, just a few hours travel apart.

First Cricket News

New Zealand vs England: Two evenly-matched sides set to serve up exciting battle despite absence of World Test Championship context

These are still Test matches. New Zealand and England players will still be tested to the extreme. Winning will still require a team to play some excellent cricket, and for the fans there is plenty to look forward to.

First Cricket News

Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Kane Williamson and Co find right recipe for well-balanced innings victory in Colombo

At P Sara Oval, New Zealand's big names were not the ones who performed. It was not a case of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Trent Boult bullying an opponent. Rather there were other flavours that came through to make the perfect recipe for victory.

First Cricket News

England vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup final: When agony of not losing is greater than pain of losing

The joy of victory and the agony of defeat are an essential part of sport. But the agony of not losing the match is greater than the agony of losing could have ever been.

First Cricket News

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: New Zealand's time zone conflict, subscription rates dilute impact of Kiwi's excellent performance

The cricket World Cup final will not stop the nation like the 2011 Rugby World Cup did. But it is still a significant event, and is likely to still have an impact on New Zealand's national productivity. It is an event that has, and will, disrupt sleep and capture the attention.