03 January 2021 04:40
Matt Henry has replaced Neil Wagner in the Black Caps squad for the second cricket test against Pakistan. After bowling 49 overs on two broken toes in New Zealand's 101-run victory in the first test, Wagner has been ruled out of the final match of the series starting in Christchurch on Sunday. Black Caps coach Gary Stead confirmed on Thursday the tireless left-armer's place in the squad would be taken by Henry. Stead said the Canterbury seamer brought 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.
"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." Henry has 30 wickets in 12 tests, the last of which came in the third and final match of the series in Australia this time last year. Stead said Wagner had wanted to travel with the team to Christchurch but the decision was made for him to head straight into recovery instead. Wagner had received multiple injections during the first test to dull the pain of the injuries and still managed a high workload, including taking four wickets in the match, but Stead that feat could not be repeated. "The injections he was getting was wearing off each time and we can't have him going through that again for this Test match," he said. "Everyone knows that Neil plays with his heart on his sleeve and he just showed how tough he really is and how valuable he has been to New Zealand for a long long time. "We'll miss him enormously but we've got to move on for this Test pretty quickly and get things sorted." Stead said Wagner would need up to six weeks to recover. New Zealand's other injury concern was with spinner Mitchell Santner who injured a finger on the last day of the first Test but Stead expected him to be ready for selection if required. Stead was considering several combinations for the second Test, including bringing in allrounder Daryl Mitchell into the team to play alongside three seam bowlers and a spinner.