Matt Henry named replacement for injured Neil Wagner versus Pakistan
Fast bowler Matt Henry has been named as a replacement for the injured left-arm pacer Neil Wagner in the New Zealand squad for the second Test against Pakistan, starting on Sunday. Wagner was struck by Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi with a yorker while batting on the second day of the first Test. Despite fracturing his toes, Wagner had played the game. Here's more.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead lauded Wagner and said the team will miss him enormously. "Everyone knows Neil plays with his heart on his sleeve and he just showed how tough he really is and how valuable he's been to New Zealand for a long, long time and we'll miss him enormously," he said.
Wagner needed pain-killing injections as he bowled 21 overs in Pakistan's first innings and 28 in the second to play a key role in his side's win. Wagner claimed four wickets that included the crucial scalp of Fawad Alam on Day 5.
Wagner's recovery is expected to be approximately six weeks, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a statement. Stead said Henry brings 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.
Wagner has claimed 219 wickets in 51 Test matches at an average of 26.32. He is a real asset for the Kiwis, who will miss his services. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Henry comes in as a direct replacement for Wagner in the starting XI. In 12 Tests, Henry has racked up 30 wickets at 50.16.