New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner is looking forward to his battle with India captain Virat Kohli in the second Test in Christchurch after missing out on the first match.

Wagner is set to return to the playing XI after sitting out for the birth of his first child. Talking about his expectations from the upcoming Test, where his team will have the opportunity to bag the two-match series, he said that Kohli is one batsman he is looking forward to targeting.

“Every team I play against, I always try and target and go for their best players, because you know what a big stride it makes within a team when you get their best players out,” he was quoted as saying by

“Drying him [Kohli] up, making sure they don’t score and putting a lot of pressure on him from both ends [is imperative].”

Wagner had put in one of the best performances of his career when New Zealand defeated India in a Test match at Auckland’s Eden Park in 2014. It was the left-arm pacer’s first Test against India and he managed to return with brilliant figures of 8/126 in the match.

In that game, the 33-year-old had got Mahendra Singh Dhoni out twice, apart from removing Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan as well. That performance remains close to his heart to date.

“I think it was a stage where I was still trying to find my feet in the team and trying to find a way of getting a role and doing my role in the team,” said Wagner.

“That’s one of the test matches, where it did turn. The way I bowl at the moment, that’s where it started. It was an amazing test win and something I always look back to and I think it kick-started my career. Before that I was going through the phase where you have quite a few ups and downs and try to find your feet.”

With India troubled in the first Test by short balls bowled from around the wicket, the 33-year-old Wagner said that New Zealand will employ the same strategy during the second match starting on Saturday.

“It’s obviously tough for them to come here and play where there is obviously a bit more bounce and pace,” said Wagner. “Playing in India where there is not that much bounce and pace around, it is something new for them to adapt to here.”

Wagner, just like NZ coach Gary Stead, believes that the Indians will put in a better position in the second Test but he expects the home side to be relentless in its endeavour to seal the series win.

“Hopefully we can keep the squeeze on and bowl the way the boys bowled in Wellington and if we can keep piling the pressure, we will make the job a lot easier for ourselves,” he said.

The series is a short one and that’s why it’s taking time for the Indians to get used to the Test match conditions, reckons Wagner.

“Sometimes when you tour overseas, it takes a match or two to get used to the conditions and adapt from there. No doubt they will be better and they will come back stronger. We look forward to do what we do best in our conditions and keep fighting the way we did.”

(With inputs from PTI)