New Zealand have replaced the injured Neil Wagner with Matt Henry for the upcoming Test against Pakistan. This move comes after Wagner took a blow on his foot and fractured his toes while facing Shaheen Afridi on the second day at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
The Kiwis have now confirmed that Matt Henry has been called in as a replacement for the final Test of the series. A statement from New Zealand Cricket read -
"Henry replaces Neil Wagner, who is recovering from undisplaced fractures in both the fourth and fifth toes of his right foot, sustained in the first Test at Bay Oval. Wagner’s recovery is expected to be approximately six weeks."
New Zealand coach Gary Stead seemed happy with the replacement and praised Matt Henry for his recent performance against Pakistan A. He said -
"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,"
Neil Wagner showed immense determination
Neil Wagner showed great heart in the opening Test as he bowled 21 overs in the first and 28 overs in the second innings with two broken toes. The left-arm seamer picked four wickets in the Test, including the prized scalp of centurion Fawad Alam in the second innings. Pakistan Captain Mohammad Rizwan was blown away by Wagner's determination to bowl with broken toes and had said -
"I can't explain Neil Wagner. Eleven overs in a row on an injured toe, he's a different guy."
Neil Wagner came up with an answer on expected lines when asked about why he carried on playing after breaking his toes. He said -
"Test matches don't come easy. Playing for your country is never anything you can take for granted. Unless they carry me off on a stretcher, I'm going to try and do everything I can, I guess."
Captain Kane Williamson will undoubtedly miss Neil Wager's ability to bowl long probing spells for the upcoming Test. He would hope that Henry can replace him seamlessly. The second Test starts on 3rd January in Christchurch, with New Zealand leading the two-match series 1-0.
New Zealand squad for 2nd Test
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 (wicketkeeper), Will Young.Published 01 Jan 2021, 11:13 IST