New Zealand have roped in fast-bowler Matt Henry for the second Test against Pakistan at Hagley Oval starting on Sunday (January 3). The right-arm pacer has been added to the New Zealand squad as a replacement for Neil Wagner, who is recovering from “undisplaced fractures”, in both fourth and fifth toes of his right foot.
The left-arm pacer sustained the injury during the first Test. Neil Wagner remarkably shrugged off the pain of the two broken toes to help bowl New Zealand to victory in the series-opener. He sustained the injury from a Shaheen Afridi yorker while batting in the first innings. He then took help of painkilling injections to stay on the field and showed remarkable grit.
Neil Wagner bowled 21 overs in Pakistan’s first innings and 28 in the second for a match haul of four wickets. He crucially removed Fawad Alam for 102 during a marathon 11-over spell late on the fifth day to put New Zealand on the path to win. The Black Caps eventually won the match by 101 runs, 27 balls from the close.
Neil Wagner is now expected to remain on the sidelines for approximately six weeks, an NZC release stated. New Zealand coach Gary Stead said Henry brings all of his Test experience and local knowledge to the squad.
“Matt has been in good form with the ball having recently taken 6-53 for New Zealand A against the Pakistan Shaheens (A side) in December,” Stead said. “We’re still a couple of days out from the Test, so need to take a look at the surface while also assessing our options for best-possible team make-up.”
New Zealand Test squad:
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young